Guest of Honour Joanne O’Riordan to Headline 9th International Women’s Day Dinner

29 February 2024

The Bar of Ireland is delighted to host its 9th International Women’s Day Dinner on Thursday 7 March 2024 at The Honorable Society of King’s Inns and we look forward to welcoming Joanne O’Riordan as our keynote speaker.

Inspiring Inclusion | International Women’s Day 2024

To mark International Women’s Day 2024, The Bar of Ireland is echoing this years’ global theme of Inspire Inclusion, which emphasizes the importance of diversity and empowerment in all aspects of society and the crucial role inclusion plays in achieving gender equality.

The Bar of Ireland recognises the importance of promoting and advocating for equality, in its broadest sense, including gender, disability and socio-economic in particular.

The Bar of Ireland is honoured to highlight the work of Joanne O’Riordan as this year’s keynote speaker at the International Women’s Day Dinner. The evening will #InspireInclusion by celebrating Joanne’s journey of overcoming adversity and her relentless advocacy for people with disabilities.

Guest of Honour | Joanne O’Riordan

Joanne studied criminology in University College Cork (UCC) and is only one of seven people in the world living with a rare physical disability known as Total Amelia. This means she was born without all four limbs and even though there is no medical explanation as to why this happened, Joanne or indeed her family has never allowed it to hold her back.

Speaking in lead up to the International Women’s Day event, Joanne O’Riordan said:

I’m honoured to mark this day with members of the legal profession; ultimately lasting impact occurs in the realm of law. I genuinely believe the legal world can help the world navigate challenges by respectfully raising flaws in our society to lawmakers and in turn create a system of diversity and inclusion that stands to all arguments.

Recognized for her outstanding contributions, O’Riordan was named Young Person of the Year at the People of the Year awards in 2012. Beyond her activism, she serves as a motivational speaker, sports columnist for The Irish Times, and is featured in the acclaimed 2013 documentary “No Limbs No Limits.”

Speaking ahead of International Women’s Day, Chair of The Bar of Ireland Sara Phelan SC said,

Our goal of inclusion is to ensure that all practitioners, clients and court users feel welcome in our shared spaces and in the justice sphere that we inhabit.

Whilst we have commenced a valuable journey, the attainment of an inclusive legal services sector means that in addition to reviewing our estate, encouraging dialogue and a policy response on key priorities, we must each challenge our own unconscious bias and the societal norms that currently mitigate against true inclusion.