NUI Galway to Celebrate Remarkable Women on Nollaig Na mBan

Photo of Alice Perry who graduated from Queen’s College Galway in 1906, Perry became the first female engineering graduate in the UK and Ireland. Photo: NUI Galway Archives
Jan 07 2019 Posted: 08:38 GMT

The University Women’s Network at NUI Galway will host a very special Nollaig na mBan reception as part of the annual Herstory celebrations. Herstory is a cultural movement that tells the life stories of historical, mythological and contemporary women. The event will take place on Monday, 7 January from 12.15pm-2pm in the Aula Maxima.

Over the course of its history, many remarkable women have both graduated from and worked in NUI Galway. This event is an opportunity to celebrate their achievements and to reflect on the work that remains to be done to secure equality for all.

Talks to celebrate Nollaig na mBan and these remarkable women will be given by NUI Galway academics:

  • Professor Niamh Reilly, School of Political Science and Sociology will explore the little-known, intense political and intellectual partnership of Tom and Mary Kettle through a focus on her efforts to vindicate the memory of Tom Kettle and assert herself as a political actor to be reckoned with in post-1916 Ireland.
  • Dr Jackie Ui Chionna, Department of History, Moore Institute will discuss the remarkable life of Emily Anderson. Anderson became Professor of German at University College Galway at the age of just 26, in 1917. She formally resigned in 1919, joining the War Office and ultimately becoming the foremost female code breaker of her generation. Alongside her code breaking work, she continued her interest in music, and became a world-renowned musicologist.
  • Dr Stacey Scriver from the Centre for Global Women’s Studies Centre will reflect on the challenges of finding (and keeping) an academic job during one’s childbearing years.

The event will also discuss plans for an illumination of the Alice Perry Engineering Building on campus later in the year, to project an image of Alice Perry onto the engineering building which is named in her honour. When she graduated from the then Queen’s College Galway in 1906, Perry became the first female engineering graduate in the UK and Ireland, a landmark achievement.

Event organisers, Mary McGill, a Hardiman Doctoral Scholar and Dr Rachel Hilliard from the Whitaker Institute at NUI Galway, said: “We are delighted to have received generous support from the University’s Equality Diversity and Inclusion Project fund for this event. We feel it will be an ideal way to mark the annual Nollaig na mBan and HerStory celebrations, and a great way to begin the new year.”

Funding support is provided by the University’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Project Fund, which was established by the Office of the Vice President for Equality and Diversity.

For more information about the event contact Mary McMcGill, University Women’s Network, NUI Galway at

To read more about Herstory, visit:


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