The 2017 Inspirational Woman of the Year Roisin Keane with event sponsor Therese O’Grady and guest speaker Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin.
GMIT Social Care graduate Roisín Keane, from Newport, has been recognised as Mayo’s latest Inspirational Woman. The award, which is now four years in existence, recognises women from Mayo or residing in the county, who have inspired others.
Róisín received the award, sponsored by Therese and Paul O’Grady, at a Nollaig na mBan event hosted by Mayo Rape Crisis Centre, held at the Country Lodge Hotel, Westport.
Róisín was nominated by her brother Tomás for her care for others and her fight for worthy causes. She was instrumental in bringing the White Ribbon Campaign to GMIT and in helping GMIT become the first White Ribbon Campaign Campus in Ireland.
White Ribbon is the world’s largest male-led movement to end men’s violence against women. The campaign came to Ireland in 2010. To gain the status of White Ribbon Institution, GMIT had to adopt a number of criteria. Róisín was pivotal in making this happen and her understanding and passion about the subject is extensive.
This year there were six nominees as well as Róisín. They were Natalya Pestova, Ann McMahon, Mary Gibbons, Nancy Glavey, Rita Scott and Keira Keogh.
Guest speaker on the day was Aoibhinn Ní Shuilleabhain. The awards were a fun, celebratory and inspiring event for all the nominees and all the women present. The event is a way for Mayo Rape Crisis Centre to salute and celebrate not only the nominees, but also the creativity, courage and lives of all the women they have worked with since 1994, who have quietly gone back to their families, communities, workplaces and churches and challenged.
“There are no headlines for most of them. They are challenging the systems that foster sexual violence against anyone is this is one of the unrecognised heroic acts of our time. This is MRCC’s way of celebrating those acts of courage,” said Ruth McNeely of Mayo Rape Crisis Centre.