House of Lords – 12th Oct 2015


Women’s Irish Network is delighted to present this year’s special event organized and hosted by our dear friend and supporter, Baroness May Blood and sponsored by Alexander Mann Solutions.


This year she has gathered a unique panel of four incredible women to share their stories and life experiences. We are thrilled to be in the company of;

Baroness Betty Boothroyd

Initially becoming interested in local Labour politics, Betty became Yorkshire’s representative on the National committee for the Labour league of youth, finally winning a seat to parliament in 1973, then the seat of West Bromwich. In 1992, she was elected speaker of the House of Commons with a landslide majority. She soon gained respect on both sides of the house for her fair mindedness and adherence to Parliamentary tradition.

Since 2005, she has been the chancellor of Open University . In 1995, she was awarded an honorary degree from Oxford University.

Baroness Brenda Dean

Elected as general president of the SOGAT union in 1983 and as its general secretary in 1984, she was the first woman to lead a major British craft or industrial trade union. Her autobiography, Hot Mettle, deals largely with her tenure as SOGAT General Secretary at the time of Rupert Murdoch’s battles with her own and other trades unions.

She was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in 1992. Dean was created a life peer in October 1993 as Baroness Dean of Thornton-le-Fylde of Eccles in the County of Greater Manchester,and a Privy Councillor in 1998.She was a member of the National Committee of Inquiry into Higher Education that published an influential report in 1997

Baroness Jan Royall

From 1986 until 1992 Baroness Royall worked with Neil Kinnock, Leader of the Opposition. Jan then went to Brussels to work in the European Commission, firstly in the Kinnock Cabinet and then in the Communications Directorate, responsible for relations with the European Parliament and as head of the Commission Office in Wales. In 2004 Jan was given a life Peerage and became a Privy Counsellor in 2008. She has been Leader of the Lords, Lord President of the Council and a member of the Cabinet, Chief Whip, Government spokesperson on Health, Foreign Affairs and International Development, and is now Leader of the Opposition.

Jan is also a Vice-President of the Party of European Socialists and an active member of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association.

Maxine Mawhinney

Maxine Mawhinney is one of the most experienced journalists in the UK having received several awards for her work; two from the American Committee for Excellence in Journalism and one from Lincoln University School of Journalism, USA, for foreign coverage of American affairs.

In a career spanning more than 35 years she has reported from across the world. When Sky News began in 1988 she was appointed Ireland Correspondent returning to Northern Ireland during a turbulent period in The Troubles.

Maxine is currently with BBC News 24 and one of the main presenters on BBC News where she also presents the BBC One national news bulletins at weekends and Dateline London, a live current affairs discussion programme for BBC World TV.



Cholmondeley Room & Terrace, House of Lords, London SW1A. 0PW

6.30pm ~ Arrival reception

6.50pm ~ Speeches

8.00pm ~ Drinks and canapes

8.30pm ~ Event ends 

Prompt Arrival is advised as you will be permitted to go through security.

Tickets for this event are £60.00 and can be purchased via the Eventbrite Platform.

Members should receive an invitation to book this event.  If you have not received your invite, please contact us on

Many thanks to our sponsors, Alexander Mann Solutions.