Still Locked Out?

NUJ Women’s Conference Ireland 2013

Saturday 21 September – 12.00PM to 5.30PM

The Teachers Club – Parnell Square – Dublin City Centre

To reserve your place, contact

12.00PM Welcome by Mary Curtin, NUJ member, former radio producer and TUG secretary in RTÉ.

Michelle Stanistreet. Image © Jess Hurd

Michelle Stanistreet. Image © Jess Hurd

Michelle Stanistreet was the first women to be elected as General Secretary of the NUJ. She is a former MOC at Richard Desmond’s tabloid Express Newspapers and held a number of union positions in the workplace and at national level before working fulltime for the NUJ. We are delighted to have Michelle over from London to introduce the conference and to speak on why women’s activism/organisation is important in the NUJ. Michelle is a champion for worker’s rights and equality within the NUJ.



12.45PM: Mirror, Mirror?

Does media representation of women in Ireland re-enforce or challenge stereotypes?

CHAIR – Anthea McTiernan

Suzy Byrne has worked in the area of LGBT and disability equality and community development in paid and unpaid roles over the past twenty years and is currently employed as a senior personal advocate for people with disabilities with the National Advocacy Service in Dublin. Suzy blogs about news and current affairs at and has won a number of awards for her work. She regularly appears on TV and Radio providing political commentary and analysis and information on the role of social media in politics.

Kathleen McDonnell is an Education Officer with Pavee Point Traveller and Roma Centre. She also currently sits on the Traveller Education Advisory Consultative Forum. From 1998 to 2004 she worked as a Traveller Community Healthcare Worker in the Blanchardstown/ Finglas area. She was the first Traveller to be hired by the Health Service Executive as the Joint Coordinator of a Primary Healthcare team in 2004.

Naomi Long MP was born in 1971 in East Belfast where she was brought up and educated. She worked as a consultant engineer and researcher at Queen’s University Belfast and entered the realm of political life, when she joined the Alliance Party in 1994. Naomi has held various party positions throughout her political career from Education Spokesperson in 1999 where she campaigned for integrated schools, nursery education and lobbied to save local libraries from closures and budget cuts; Regional Development Spokesperson in 2007 where she lobbied on topical issues such as water charges, regional/local tax rates, and improved Roads Safety. She was elected Deputy Leader of the Alliance Party in February 2006.

Esther Lynch is Legislation and Social Affairs Officer with the Irish Congress of Trade Unions. She advises Congress on matters relating to corporate governance, labour law, and safety, health and welfare. Esther is a Board Member of the Health and Safety Authority. A member of the NUJ she has studied Media at DIT and has a particular interest in stereotyping and the portrayal of older women in the media.

2.45PM Sexism in the workplace

How to identify, challenge and resist inequality and organise fair workplaces

CHAIR : Emma O’Kelly

Nicola Coleman has worked for 10 years as an Industrial Relations Official and Organiser for the NUJ. She represented a member in the NUJ in Ireland’s first equal pay claim on age and gender discrimination. She has organised members who were wrongfully classed as self-employed in national newspapers, securing employment contracts and all associated rights. She is a committed trade unionist with a strong record of building collective organisation and improving terms and conditions for NUJ members.

A Panel of women who fought and won: “Silly girl journalist wins age discrimination case’ was the headline in the Sunday Times when a young woman won her landmark case in 2006. Far from being a ‘silly girl’ that NUJ member now works for the Irish Times and her story shows that fighting for your rights at work does no damage to your career. This session will also include other panellists who have fought and won on issues in their workplace including how fighting for employment status delivers for women and how one chapel used the employers agenda to improve maternity leave entitlements for the chapel.

4.00PM Learning the lessons of the Lock Out

Can we use the centenary of the 1913 as a spring board for action?

CHAIR: Kitty Holland

Dr Ida Milne
A historian who uses oral testimony to explore her research interests – medical history, newspaper and trade union history, Protestant identification with the new Irish nation. With Dr Mary Muldowney, she organised the 1913 Lockout Alternative Visions oral history project, training trade unionists and community activists to collect oral histories in their workplace and communities. She is a founder member and director of the Oral History Network of Ireland. Dr Milne is a member of the NUJ and is a former journalist and librarian at Independent Newspapers.

Dr Mary Cullen
Historian and educationalist Mary Cullen is a former Senior Lecturer in Modern History at NUI Maynooth and currently a Research Associate at the Centre for Gender and Women’s Studies at TCD. Her main area of research and publication is in the history of the first wave Irish Women’s Movement. Her Telling It Our Way: Essays in Gender History was published by Arlen House in 2013.

Ethel Buckley SIPTU
Ethel Buckley is National Campaigns and Equality Organiser and Head of the Policy Research Unit in SIPTU. She was recently elected to the Executive Council of the ICTU. She was a union activist and Shop Steward in University College Cork before choosing to work full-time in the trade union movement. She is a strong advocate within the movement of the need to move away from the servicing model of trade unionism towards grassroots campaigning and organising. She is a feminist. She lives in Dublin with her partner and three young children.

Closing Remarks by Norma Prendiville former chair of the IEC and Southwest Branch Chairperson.

To reserve your place, contact

Arlen House Bookstall

Arlen House was originally founded in 1975 as Ireland’s first feminist publishing house. It was re-launched in 2000 with the aim of continuing to expand the original objectives of publishing high quality feminist and academic titles for Ireland and beyond. The Publisher will be bringing a wide range of books to the NUJ’s women’s conference and there will be rare titles as well as contemporary publications. Arlen House is also the publisher of Mary Cullen’s latest book “Telling it our way – Essays in Gender History” and copies will be available for sale on the day.

VENUE: The Teachers Club
The Teachers Club is located on Parnell Square in Dublin City Centre. It is a 10 minute walk from Busáras and Connolly Station. We recommend booking train tickets in advance as it is the same weekend as the all-Ireland football final. Also finding parking in the city centre is likely to be difficult.

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