The Shelbourne Hotel, Dublin was the venue for a very special evening as Irish Tatler announced its Women of the Year on Saturday 13 November.
Now in its 21st year, over 200 women have received an Irish Tatler Woman of the Year award and this year’s honorees included activists, philanthropists, creative forces and entrepreneurs. It was a night of inspiration and a celebration of the skill and talent of Irish women.
The event, hosted by Jessie Collins, Irish Tatler editor saw 15 category winners announced with boxer Kellie Harrington, European champion, world champion and Olympic gold winner receiving our overall Woman of the Year Award. Harrington’s victory over Brazil’s Beatriz Ferreira in the lightweight boxing final in the Tokyo Olympics earlier this year saw her become only the second Irish female boxer to win an Olympic medal.
A visibly-moved Harrington, who received huge applause as she took to the stage, spoke of being inspired by the other award winners and paid tribute to her long-term partner Mandy Loughlin who was with her on the night.
The Special Recognition Award went to Sarah Grace, who took the brave decision to go public after being attacked in her apartment in July 2019. Grace, a qualified solicitor, spoke about her experience in March of this year, with the aim of highlighting how victims can better prepare for trials, and to encourage more open conversations around sexual violence in Ireland.
FeliSpeaks, Nigerian Irish poet, performer and playwright received The Catalyst Award. She performed her poem For Our Mothers, to a rapt audience, demonstrating why this powerful work is set to be on the Leaving Cert English curriculum for 2023.
Speaking about the event, Jessie Collins said, “The Irish Tatler Women of the Year Awards were first staged in 2002, and no other forum has recognised Irish women’s achievements so comprehensively. Not only have our awards championed female excellence, they have sparked important conversations about Irish women’s place in society, the workplace and the world.”
The irish tatler women of 2021 award Winners
Special recognition - Sarah Grace
Sport - Eve McCrystal and Katie-George Dunlevy
Media - Katie Hannon
Fashion - The Tweed Project
Music - Tolü Makay
Catalyst - FeliSpeaks aka Felicia Olusanya
Innovation - Dr Fiona Edwards Murphy
Business - Hertility Health
Public Life - Maeve O’Rourke and Claire McGettrick - The Clann Project
Literature - Emer McLysaght and Sarah Breen
Drama - Clare Dunne
Art & Design - Jude Sherry
STEM - Dr Linda Doyle
Entertainment - Joanne McNally
International - Geraldine Byrne Nason
The Woman of the Year 2021 - Kellie Harrington
All images by Andres Poveda