Killybegs Councillor Niamh Kennedy was among the female politicians celebrating this week’s unveiling of a powerful painting at Dublin’s Custom House for International Women’s Day.

The artwork, by former Leitrim councillor Sinéad Guckian, was commissioned by the WoMeN’s Regional Caucus, a group of 13 constituent member local authorities where there are insufficient numbers of women councillors to form a meaningful caucus at the county level.

The art aims to spark conversations, challenge norms, and ultimately encourage more women to step forward and make their voices heard in local decision-making.

As a former county councillor, artist Sinéad Guckian lends a personal insight into the experience of women in Irish local government to her work, which has been praised by the WoMeN’s Regional Caucus.

Fiona Quinn, Assistant Secretary for Local Government, Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage; Councillor Carmel Brady Chair of the WoMeN’s Regional Caucus; Artist and former Leitrim Co Councillor Sinead Guckian; Minister of State with responsibility for Local Government and Planning Kieran O’Donnell TD.

Chair of the WoMeN’s Regional Caucus, Cllr. Carmel Brady said the work was commissioned in response to the Caucus’ International Women’s Day events last year, which saw member councils host events to reverse the gender of our council chambers, to visually highlight the enduring inequalities in local politics.

Cllr Brady said: “We are the first of our kind in Ireland, and we stand united in our commitment to seeing more women leaders in our local government system.

“As women in politics, we understand the challenges and barriers that exist for aspiring female leaders.”

Members of the WoMeN’s Regional Caucus with Minister of State with responsibility for Local Government and Planning Kieran O’Donnell TD. pictured with artist and former Leitrim Co Councillor Sinead Guckian at the Custom House

Tuesday’s unveiling follows significant funding announcements late last year, including a combined €435,000 allocated to political parties and local authorities to encourage greater participation of women, and those from diverse groups in local politics, along with other measures aimed at making the role of the councillor more accessible and sustainable.

The public will be able to view the painting in the Custom House Visitor Centre in the coming months.

The WoMeN’s Regional Caucus includes representatives from Cavan, Donegal, Galway City, Galway County, Laois, Leitrim, Longford, Offaly, Mayo, Monaghan, Roscommon, Sligo, and Westmeath.