Successful Launch at the Mansion House

Smashing Times were delighted to run a highly successful launch of the Women War and Peace book and documentary, and the Smashing Times Online Centre for the Arts and Human Rights, at the Oak Room, Mansion House on 15 August, 2018. The book, documentary and website were officially launched by guest speaker Sabina Coyne-Higgins, while other speakers included Orla O’Connor, Vanessa Ogida and Mary Moynihan. We would like to thank all those who contributed to the launch, and all those who attended as well.

Orla O’Connor, head of the National Women’s Council of Ireland, whose interview features in the Women in an Equal Europe book, spoke about the historic change that has happened this year in Ireland regarding women’s rights, as well as the role the Women in an Equal Europe book and documentary plays in promoting women’s stories. After this, Vanessa Ogida, broadcast journalist, motivational speaker, writer, trainer and entrepeneur, spoke about her experience of immigration in Ireland.


Vanessa Ogida and Sabina Coyne-Higgins outside the Mansion House, Dublin


Mary Moynihan, Smashing Times Artistic Director, writer and theatre and film-maker, then spoke about the essential role the arts, often even unintentionally, play in promoting human rights worldwide. Finally, Sabina Coyne-Higgins, artist, patron of Smashing Times, and wife to President Michael D Higgins, said a few words about the importance of the book, documentary, and new online centre, which she then launched.

A brief excerpt of the Women in an Equal Europe documentary was subsequently shown. The launch ended with a spectacular, original cover of ‘I’m Feeling Good’ by Nina Simone, sung by Carla Ryan with Ellen Mahony on piano accompaniment.


Carla Ryan sings ‘I’m Feeling Good’ by Nina Simone


About the Women in an Equal Europe Book

As part of the European project Women in an Equal Europe, twenty-one women were interviewed – six from Ireland, five from Spain, five from Croatia and five from Serbia. The interviews are contained in the Women in an Equal Europe Book, which can be read by everybody, to promote a remembrance of women’s equality and experiences of life in Europe, ensuring women’s voices and stories are equally heard and acknowledged. The interviews are a fascinating insight into women’s experiences, capturing the uniqueness and strength of the women as they speak about their lives and the importance of gender equality for all.

Read interviews with influential women working in Ireland today, including Olwen Fouéré, Actor, Director and Creative Artist; Senator Ivana Bacik, Barrister and Reid Professor of Criminal Law at Trinity College Dublin and Labour Party Senator; Mary Lawlor, Human Rights Activist, Founder and current board member of Front Line Defenders and Adjunct Professor, School of Business, Trinity College Dublin; Dil Wickremasinghe, journalist, broadcaster and co-founder of Insight Matters; Mary Moynihan, Writer, theatre and filmmaker, Artistic Director, Smashing Times and Lecturer, DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama; and Sinéad Burke, writer and activist. The book is created and edited by Mary Moynihan and contains a foreword by Senator Lynn Ruane and articles relating to gender equality in Europe today as well as interviews with women from Ireland, Spain, Croatia and Serbia. The Women in an Equal Europe Book can be accessed free of charge here.


About the Women in an Equal Europe Documentary

A new Women in an Equal Europe Creative Documentary was made exploring themes of women, feminism and Europe. The documentary is directed by Mary Moynihan, theatre and film maker, edited by Mark Quinn, Highwire Ltd, and features interviews with twelve women from Ireland, Spain, Croatia and Serbia along with a series of nine Vox Pops or statements from women and men exploring women’s lived experiences of life in Europe and the intersection between the arts, feminism and equality. Women interviewed in the documentary include Olwen Fouéré, Actor, Director and Creative Artist, Ireland; Dijana Milošević, Artistic Director, DAH Theatre, Serbia; Dil Wickremasinghe, Journalist, Broadcaster and Co-founder of Insight Matters, Ireland; Orla O’Connor, Director of the National Women’s Council of Ireland; Sinéad Burke, Writer and Academic, Ireland; Mirjana Renduli, Actor, Writer and Facilitator, Croatia; Constance Short, Visual Artist, Arts Organiser and Cultural Conduit, Ireland; Vanessa Ogida, Broadcast Journalist, Motivational Speaker, Writer, Trainer and Entrepreneur, Ireland; Pom Boyd, Actor and Writer, Ireland; Róisín McAtamney, Actor and Theatre Director, Ireland; and Dr Shirley Graham, Visiting Associate Professor of Practice in International Affairs at George Washington University.


About the Women in an Equal Europe Project

The book and documentary are created as part of Women in an Equal Europe, a European art-based project using creative processes of theatre and film and online digital resources to promote a greater understanding of women’s rights and the positive changes that have come about in relation to gender equality as a result of belonging to the European Union. The project was implemented by Smashing Times in partnership with IFES, Valencia, Spain; Youth Peace Group ‘Danube’ (YPGD), Vukovar, Croatia and DAH Theatre Research Centre, Belgrade, Serbia, with activities supported by the Europe for Citizens Programme of the EU, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Reconciliation Fund and the Arts Council Young Ensembles Scheme.


About the New Website for the Smashing Times International Centre for the Arts and Human Rights

Smashing Times, founded in 1991, plays a leading role in the development of the arts to promote human rights, gender equality, peace building, active citizenship and positive mental health and well-being through high quality artistic processes. The company is lead partner on a range of transnational European projects and is highly experienced in using the arts to promote issues at local, national and European levels linking with organisations in Ireland and Northern Ireland and in countries including the UK, Spain, Germany, Poland, Turkey, Serbia, Croatia, Bulgaria, the Netherlands, Sri Lanka, Greece and Latvia.

In 2017, Smashing Times won the daa Arts Award at the Allianz Business to Arts Award Ceremony which took place at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, Dublin. The daa Arts Award is described as a reward for an ‘arts organisation that has particularly impressed the judges in a given year’ and Smashing Times were delighted and honoured to receive this award.

Smashing Times are currently establishing a world-class Smashing Times International Centre for the Arts and Human Rights dedicated to the promotion, protection, study and practice of the arts, human rights and gender equality. The centre will operate as a world class arts space and digital hub for artists, communities and the general public across Ireland and internationally, providing a resource service and networking agency and an annual inter-disciplinary arts programme. Smashing Times are delighted to launch the new website for the Smashing Times International Centre for the Arts and Human Rights featuring the Women in an Equal Europe Documentary and Book. This website is a unique resource providing information and welcoming contributions from artists and citizens from Ireland and around the world in relation to the arts and human rights.


For further information contact:

Freda Manweiler, Company Manager

Smashing Times International Centre for the Arts and Human Rights incorporating Smashing Times Theatre and Film Company and Smashing Times Youth Arts Ensemble

Coleraine House, Coleraine Street, Dublin 7, Ireland.

Tel: + 353 (0) 1 865 6613                Tel: + 353 (0) 87 221 4245

Email: or