The Irish Times - A new map of Ireland: Honouring some of our outstanding women

Ina Boyle named number 23 on the Irish Times’ list of Outstanding Irish Women.

On a tour of Ireland, one might easily ask: where are the women? There are statues to a few (we counted just five), a smattering of commemorative plaques, and the Rosie Hackett bridge in Dublin. But most of Ireland’s remarkable heroines are invisible.

Perhaps this is because, although there has always been a tradition of casting generals in bronze or chipping them out of marble, a great deal of women’s heroism has always been unsung. Who would ever erect a statue to a nurse? Or a needleworker? In celebration of International Women’s Day, we’re changing that with our own modest proposal: a new map of Ireland, with sites for sculptures, new street names and even a mountain pass.

On our map we have inventors, social reformers, artists, scientists, a pioneering aviator and a mountaineer. There could have been so many more. With one exception, all the women in our list are no longer with us, but all deserve to be celebrated and remembered into the future.

Illustrations by Dearbhla Kelly
— The Irish Times - Gemma Tipton
23.: Ina Boyle (1889-1967)
Statue, Enniskerry, Co Wicklow
“I think it is most courageous of you to go on with so little recognition. The only thing to say is that it does come finally,” Ralph Vaughan Williams wrote to Ina Boyle in 1937. The Enniskerry-born composer’s visits to her mentor and champion in London were cut short by the second World War. Her ensuing isolation meant her work was seldom performed, but more recent rediscovery of her powerful and wonderful music is cementing her reputation as one of Ireland’s most important composers.
— The Irish Times - Gemma Tipton