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Awards for Fingal’s Newest Leaders at She Leads Fingal Ceremony

A new network of leaders were presented with Certificates of Achievement at the She Leads Fingal Awards Ceremony on Monday night by AnnMarie Farrelly, Fingal County Council Chief Executive and Cllr Karen Power, Chairperson of Fingal County Council Women’s Caucus


She Leads Award Ceremony County Hall Swords on March 7th

The programme explored the achievements, challenges and opportunities that women experience in community action. Selected participants - all women in Fingal involved in their local communities - were supported to discover the leadership skills, resources and approaches already successfully used in Fingal. Certificates were awarded to Helen Galgey, Michelle Griffin, Sandra Losty, Carmelle Keane, Ginta Bezdeliga, Hanan Kaaoiss, Akvile Simanskiene and Alison Herlihy.


Participants are interested in a wide variety of areas for community change. Sandra Losty is the founder of Recovery Hour, an online self-help community founded during the Covid-19 restrictions to aid people in recovery from addiction. Akvile Simanskiene is a Balbriggan artist creating murals with the community in public spaces. Helen Galgey is a coach and committee member at Baldoyle FC. Alison Herlihy leads a team supporting youth representation at Donabate Portrane Tennis Club. Carmelle Keane leads a mentoring programme for women in local radio at Phoenix FM.


A networking event held at the end of the programme saw guests with national influence meet with participants to provide opportunities for mentoring and connection with national and regional networks. Guests included the Mayor of Fingal Seána Ó Rodaigh, Louise O’Reilly TD, National Women’s Council of Ireland, Sport Ireland, and Empower as well as influencers in the worlds of food, film, arts and wellbeing.


Participants and guests at the She Leads Fingal Networking Night with Mayor Seána Ó Rodaigh and Louise O’Reilly TD.

Participants have been supported through the programme by a team of tutors experienced in local leadership with real life advice, stories and feedback and given advice and feedback in the early development of their new leadership activities to improve life in our communities and neighbourhoods. The programme tutors are Geraldine Rooney, of the Independent Living Centre Blanchardstown, who is also a representative on the Fingal Public Participation Network, Ayodele Yusuf, Chair of Balbriggan Integration Forum and Catherine Joyce, Manager of Blanchardstown Traveller Development Centre.


She Leads Fingal was co-designed with Shelly Gaynor, a disability advisor and former Chair of the Independent Living Movement Ireland, Bridie O’Reilly, an experienced community activist and former Chair of the Older People’s Council of Ireland, and Dr Lucy Michael, an experienced lecturer in community leadership.


She Leads Fingal is supported by the Community Development Office of Fingal County Council. A new one-day leadership programme for Fingal women is currently being planned.


“This is a very exciting time in Fingal County Council for women. In addition to being led by a female Chief Executive and a female Mayor, in July 2021 we established the first Fingal County Council Women’s Caucus. The Women’s Caucus, aims to advocate on issues that affect women and She Leads, We Lead will compliment and inform our work in Fingal” said Chairperson of Fingal County Council Women’s Caucus, Cllr Karen Power .

“Fingal County Council are delighted to be part of She Leads We Lead. The involvement of women in decision making is central to policy making and building strong communities” said Fingal County Council Chief Executive AnnMarie Farrelly

“She Leads We Lead enables women to share experiences and learn skills, resources and approaches needed to be effective leaders in our communities. Our office recognises the importance of supporting women in this journey and in the building of a women’s network in Fingal” - Principal Community Officer, Linda Ennis