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The Limerick Lady Podcast

Jun 15, 2022

In this episode Emma and Ann ambush poor Ailbhe and wrangle every conceivable bit of info out of her about her life, her activism, and where the feck she gets all the energy!

In this episode Ailbhe Smyth – activist extraordinaire – gives us a first-hand perspective, whistle-stop tour of the recent socio-political history of Ireland, from the removal of the Legitimacy Act in 1987 which removed all remaining legal distinctions between children born to married and unmarried parents, to the divorce referendum of 1995 - both of which impacted Ailbhe directly. 

Ailbhe Smyth was the founding head of Women’s Studies at UCD (University College Dublin) where she began lecturing at the age of 21.

She has been campaigning on feminist, LGBTQI+ and socialist issues for decades. She played a key role in the victorious Marriage Equality referendum in 2015. A pro-choice activist since the late 1970s, Ailbhe co-founded the Coalition to Repeal the 8th Amendment and went on
to become Co-Director of the Together for Yes 2015 referendum campaign which won the right to abortion for women in Ireland in 2018.

A Dublin resident, Ailbhe is currently Chair of Women’s Aid Ireland, Chair of Ballyfermot Addiction Services, on the board of Age Action, and Honorary Patron of the Women’s Collective Ireland (previously
National Collective of Community-based Women’s Network). She is a founder member of Climate Justice Coalition, and also of Le Chéile: Diversity not Division which campaigns against the growth of far right extremism.

In 2019, Ailbhe was listed as one of Time Magazine’s ‘Most Influential People’. She was conferred with an honorary Doctorate of Laws by NUIG in 2021, and was recently conferred with the Freedom of the City of Dublin.

Follow Ailbhe Smyth on Twitter at AilbheS

Follow Ann Blake on Twitter at annblake78, on Instagram at annblakeplay and check out  her band The Brad Pitt Light Orchestra on twitter at BPLO.

Catch her other podcasts, 'Ann and Steve Talk Stuff' and 'Three Things That Matter' #ThreethingsTM both of which are also supported bt the Limerick Post Newspaper

Get tickets for Emma's upcoming shows and workshops at 

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The Limerick Lady Podcast is supported by the Limerick Post Newspaper, and sponsored by Ormston House

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This podcast usually goes out on the 3rd Thursday each month - the 'Thirdsday', if you will.

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Intro music: Demon Darling by Emma Langford

Outro music: Closed Book by Emma Langford