4 Inspiring Irish Women to Celebrate this St. Patrick’s Day

“Time is a great storyteller.”

  • Irish Saying

In the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day and Women’s History Month, let’s celebrate these 4 inspiring Irish women from past and present! Each of these women have looked at the eye of a challenge, and jumped in, full force. They have all faced different obstacles on each of their individual paths, showing that a woman with her mind set can accomplish anything with a bit of grit, determination, and courage. These Irish women were not afraid to take up space, to challenge the status quo, or to push themselves- even if they did have a little Irish luck on their sides!

1. Clare O'Leary, Mountaineer

2. Grace O'Malley, "Pirate Queen of Ireland"

3. James Barry (Margaret Ann Bulkley), 1st Female Doctor in the UK

Nikki Bradley was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer, Ewing’s Sarcoma, at the young age of 16. This life-changing diagnosis did not stop her though- she survived, and by the age of 26 had received two hip replacements placing her permanently on crutches.

Through all of this, Nikki is still an avid adventurer. She created a campaign called Fighting Fit for Ewing’s, where she completes different challenges to showcase how recovery can be facilitated with physical activity. Some challenges that she has recently completed include: climbing the Solheimajokull glacier in Iceland, completing a 24-kilometer trek of the Brecon Beacons in Wales, and summiting four Irish peaks within 32 hours… and on crutches![1]

In August of 2021 she made the tough decision to have an amputation of one of her legs, a day that she always knew would come.[2] She shares her story on Instagram if you would like to follow along on her incredible journey!

So, this St. Patrick’s Day, when you are all dressed up in your green garb and celebrating Irish culture- make a cheers to these strong Irish women, a toast to your future in adventuring, and to all women! Sláinte!

Blog Written by WWE Ambassador Laurel O'Donnell


[1] O'Sullivan, P. (2020, December 15). 2020 Lynam Medal Awarded to Dr Clare O Leary. Mountaineering Ireland. https://www.mountaineering.ie/aboutus/news/2020/?id=324

[1][@theiceproject]. (n.d.). Instagram. https://www.instagram.com/theiceproject/?hl=en

[1] Irish Post. (2021, September 7). Grace O'Malley: 12 incredible facts about the fearless pirate Queen of Ireland. The Irish Post. https://www.irishpost.com/life-style/irelands-pirate-queen-twelve-fascinating-facts-about-legendary-grace-omalley-129406

[1] Grace O Malley Granuaile. (n.d.). Discovering Ireland. https://www.discoveringireland.com/grace-o-malley-granuaile/

[1]Grace O Malley Granuaile. (n.d.). Discovering Ireland. https://www.discoveringireland.com/grace-o-malley-granuaile/

[1] Holland, B. (2017, March 24). The extraordinary secret life of Dr. James Barry. HISTORY. https://www.history.com/news/the-extraordinary-secret-life-of-dr-james-barry

[1] Holland, B. (2017, March 24). The extraordinary secret life of Dr. James Barry. HISTORY. https://www.history.com/news/the-extraordinary-secret-life-of-dr-james-barry

[1] Moore, W. (2018, February 22). Dr James Barry: A woman ahead of her time review – an exquisite story of scandalous subterfuge. The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/nov/10/dr-james-barry-a-woman-ahead-of-her-time-review

[1] Bradley, N. [@nikki_bradley_speaks]. (n.d.). Instagram. https://www.instagram.com/nikki_bradley_speaks/?hl=en

[1] Ireland's Most Adventurous Crutch User! (n.d.). The Motivation Factory. https://themotivationfactory.ie/

[1] McLaughlin, R. (2021, September 13). Nikki Bradley’s brave new journey. Donegal Daily. journey/

About the Author Koa Hughes

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