Motorsport Ireland Women in Motorsport Commission networking event to celebrate International Women’s Day & Women in Sport Week.


Motorsport Ireland(MI) Women in Motorsport Commission hosted a hugely successful event in the Midlands Park Hotel in Portlaoise on Saturday 9th March to celebrate International Women’s day and Sport Ireland Women in Sport week. The event was very well supported with 100 in attendance comprising of competitors and volunteers representing all disciplines in Irish Motorsport.

The aim of Women in Sport week was to celebrate all women who are involved in sport.  The event provided opportunity for women from all Motorsport disciplines to network, to encourage each other to believe in themselves, pursue their passions, and strive for excellence and it certainly delivered on this.

Motorsport Ireland President, Aiden Harper who is an avid supporter of Women in Motorsport opened proceedings and he confirmed Motorsport Ireland’s commitment to supporting this objective. Erika Murphy from Sport Ireland spoke about the challenges that women face in sport and how we can all work together to overcome them.

All Motorsport disciplines were represented with a particular spot light on Sporting Trials. The Carlow Car Club Sporting trial held earlier Saturday morning finished in time to allow the female competitors and the organising team led by the Clerk of the Course Aine Phelan to attend the event.

Direct from the Dublin airport back from Saudia Arabia was Patricia Denning driver at the 4 day Rally Jameel Navigation Rally. Patricia provided a very interesting insight to the fantastic experience and challenges herself and co-driver Gretchen Swinburne of Monaghan Motor Club member had. Also direct from Dublin Airport travelling  from Singapore to compete at the West Cork Rally was Commission member Sinead Canny who compered the event proceedings. 

Over the evening various panel discussions comprising of inspirational competitors from all motorsport disciplines, volunteers and officials shared their experiences and gave great encouragement to all present. Rally Academy driver Aoife Raftery and Kathleen Kennedy gave a very interesting insight to the great work of the Motorsport Ireland Rally Academy.

Aoife, also as MI Women in Motorsport Commission member interviewed  the guests of the  Stars of Tomorrow  panel: Holly Dunnion (First ever female winner of an Irish Championship Circuit Racing Event) , Gemma Hallinan Junior 1000cc driver, Nicole O Leary Junior Autocross Driver  and Eimear Carey Karting who has competed nationally and Internationally. Our competitor panel of Ruthanne O Connor (Rally Navigator), Kelsey Kirby (Racing Driver) and Roisin Sweeney (Karting competitor) shared their lived experience of their involvement and achievements in  motorsport.

Finally a volunteer panel showcased the exceptional talent, expertise and commitment that is present within the volunteer community in Motorsport in Ireland.

It was truly wonderful to hear the stories from everyone on these panels and to appreciate the support and help they receive both from men and women. These are really inspirational women and we applaud each and every one of them.

 Rosemary Walsh (Chairperson of MIWMC) commented:

“We had an online Webinar last year to Celebrate International Womens Day and we built on that success. We are delighted with the positive feedback from our 2024 event and we are already looking at ideas for next year.  The wealth of talent and commitment of Irish Women in Motorsport is outstanding and I’m inspired and excited as the future is very bright for us. The Motorsport Ireland Women in Motorsport Commission would like to thank all those who attended and for all their contribution on the day."

Motorsport Ireland Women in Motorsport Commission (MIWMC) was set up in 2022 and it comprises of 13 women covering a wide variety of motorsport roles including competitors and volunteers.

Keep up with Motorsport Ireland News: Become a MI-Member

Sign-up as a MI-Member to subscribe to our mailing list and get the latest news, updates and exclusive offers from Motorsport Ireland.

For information on how we use your data, view our Data Protection Policy.