Vol. 13 (2023): A Global Ireland: New Audiences and New Alliances
Voci / Voices

Ireland’s Response to Domestic, Sexual and Gender-based Violence: An Interview with Orla O’Connor

Deirdre Kelly
Technological University Dublin

Published 2023-07-31


  • Domestic Violence,
  • Legislative Changes,
  • Gender-Based Violence,
  • Sexual Violence,
  • Violence Against Women

How to Cite

Kelly, D. (2023). Ireland’s Response to Domestic, Sexual and Gender-based Violence: An Interview with Orla O’Connor. Studi Irlandesi. A Journal of Irish Studies, 13. https://doi.org/10.36253/SIJIS-2239-3978-14628


Orla O’Connor is the Director of the “National Women’s Council of Ireland” (NWCI), the leading national women’s membership organisation with over 190-member groups. She has held senior management roles in several non-governmental organisations for over 25 years. Time magazine recognised her as one of the 100 Most Influential People in 2019 for her role as Co-director of “Together for Yes”, the successful national civil society campaign that was influential in Ireland voting overwhelmingly in favour of removing the Eighth Amendment from the Constitution, a landmark referendum, which led to the legalisation of abortion in 2018. In addition to campaigning for women’s reproductive rights, Orla has spearheaded several other prominent campaigns related to women’s rights, including pension reform, social welfare reform, and the introduction of quality and affordable childcare. To mark the annual international campaign of the “16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence” – which started on 25 November with the “International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women”, and ended on 10 December, “Human Rights Day” – Orla was interviewed on 8 November 2022. O’Connor discusses recent Irish legislation and policy developments in relation to Domestic, Sexual and Gender-based Violence (DSGBV), in particular, the government’s ambitious “Third National Strategy” on the issue – the “Zero Tolerance Plan” – published in 2022. The following transcript has been edited for length and clarity.


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