Back in 1998 Nessa O’Neill and Mary Clancy went to a DEMOS day at the National Film Theatre on the Embankment to listen to a number of eminent women talk about the various problems that women encountered in the workplace and how they could be overcome. Nessa and Mary came away enthralled and enthused by what they heard decided that they should try and do something for women within the Irish community.
They decided to call the organisation the Women’s Irish Network as they felt that WIN had a good ring to it, but we also agreed to be inclusive and accept members who were not necessarily Irish – it was enough that they wanted to be Irish.
The first event was a breakfast, with keynote speaker James Dyson of vacuum cleaner fame. Later that same year, one of the highlights of WIN’s history occurred when President Mary McAleese came to speak to us over a lunch.
A number of years have now passed since the joyful birth of WIN, there have been great events and wonderful camaraderie and between us all we have raised over £423,000 for the Irish youth Foundation.
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