Mary Kenny
Mary Kenny is an Irish
Irish people
The Irish people are an ethnic group who originate in Ireland, an island in northwestern Europe. Ireland has been populated for around 9,000 years , with the Irish people's earliest ancestors recorded having legends of being descended from groups such as the Nemedians, Fomorians, Fir Bolg, Tuatha...

An author is broadly defined as "the person who originates or gives existence to anything" and that authorship determines responsibility for what is created. Narrowly defined, an author is the originator of any written work.-Legal significance:...

, broadcaster
A presenter, or host , is a person or organization responsible for running an event. A museum or university, for example, may be the presenter or host of an exhibit. Likewise, a master of ceremonies is a person that hosts or presents a show...

, playwright
A playwright, also called a dramatist, is a person who writes plays.The term is not a variant spelling of "playwrite", but something quite distinct: the word wright is an archaic English term for a craftsman or builder...

 and journalist
A journalist collects and distributes news and other information. A journalist's work is referred to as journalism.A reporter is a type of journalist who researchs, writes, and reports on information to be presented in mass media, including print media , electronic media , and digital media A...

. She was a founder member of the Irish
Irish people
The Irish people are an ethnic group who originate in Ireland, an island in northwestern Europe. Ireland has been populated for around 9,000 years , with the Irish people's earliest ancestors recorded having legends of being descended from groups such as the Nemedians, Fomorians, Fir Bolg, Tuatha...

 Women's Liberation Movement, though she has modified her radical past, but not rejected feminist principles.

In 1969, at a party in her home, Michael D. Higgins
Michael D. Higgins
Michael Daniel Higgins is the ninth and current President of Ireland, having taken office on 11 November 2011 following victory in the 2011 Irish presidential election. Higgins is an Irish politician, poet, sociologist, author and broadcaster. Higgins was President of the Labour Party until his...

, the future President of Ireland
President of Ireland
The President of Ireland is the head of state of Ireland. The President is usually directly elected by the people for seven years, and can be elected for a maximum of two terms. The presidency is largely a ceremonial office, but the President does exercise certain limited powers with absolute...

, met his wife Sabina Coyne.

In March 1971 she walked out of Haddington Road church after the Archbishop of Dublin's pastoral was read out from the pulpit, confirming that "any contraceptive act is always wrong", saying "this is Church dictatorship". In a follow-up letter to The Irish Times
The Irish Times
The Irish Times is an Irish daily broadsheet newspaper launched on 29 March 1859. The editor is Kevin O'Sullivan who succeeded Geraldine Kennedy in 2011; the deputy editor is Paul O'Neill. The Irish Times is considered to be Ireland's newspaper of record, and is published every day except Sundays...

she explained her actions by saying Ian Paisley
Ian Paisley
Ian Richard Kyle Paisley, Baron Bannside, PC is a politician and church minister in Northern Ireland. As the leader of the Democratic Unionist Party , he and Sinn Féin's Martin McGuinness were elected First Minister and deputy First Minister respectively on 8 May 2007.In addition to co-founding...

 was right: "Home Rule is Rome Rule
Rome Rule
"Rome Rule" was a term used by Irish unionists and socialists to describe the belief that the Roman Catholic Church would gain political control over their interests with the passage of a Home Rule Bill...


In 1971 she travelled with Nell McCafferty
Nell McCafferty
Nell McCafferty is an Irish journalist, playwright, civil rights campaigner and feminist. In her journalistic work she has written for The Irish Press, The Irish Times, Sunday Tribune, Hot Press and The Village Voice....

, June Levine
June Levine
June Levine was an Irish journalist, novelist and feminist, who played a central part in the Irish women's movement. She was born and raised in a Jewish family in Dublin, and wrote her first articles for The Irish Times when she was still a teenager. At the age of eighteen she married Kenneth...

 and other Irish feminists
Feminism in Ireland
Second-wave feminism in Ireland began in the 1970s fronted by women such as Nell McCafferty, Mary Kenny, June Levine and Nuala O'Faolain. At the time, the majority of women in Ireland were housewives...

 on the so-called "Contraceptive Train" from Dublin to Belfast
Belfast is the capital of and largest city in Northern Ireland. By population, it is the 14th biggest city in the United Kingdom and second biggest on the island of Ireland . It is the seat of the devolved government and legislative Northern Ireland Assembly...

 to buy condoms, then illegal within the Republic of Ireland
Republic of Ireland
Ireland , described as the Republic of Ireland , is a sovereign state in Europe occupying approximately five-sixths of the island of the same name. Its capital is Dublin. Ireland, which had a population of 4.58 million in 2011, is a constitutional republic governed as a parliamentary democracy,...


Later that year she subsequently returned to London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

 as Features Editor of the Evening Standard
Evening Standard
The Evening Standard, now styled the London Evening Standard, is a free local daily newspaper, published Monday–Friday in tabloid format in London. It is the dominant regional evening paper for London and the surrounding area, with coverage of national and international news and City of London...


Mary Kenny has written for many UK and Irish broadsheet newspapers, including the Irish Independent
Irish Independent
The Irish Independent is Ireland's largest-selling daily newspaper that is published in both compact and broadsheet formats. It is the flagship publication of Independent News & Media.-History:...

, The Times
The Times
The Times is a British daily national newspaper, first published in London in 1785 under the title The Daily Universal Register . The Times and its sister paper The Sunday Times are published by Times Newspapers Limited, a subsidiary since 1981 of News International...

, The Guardian
The Guardian
The Guardian, formerly known as The Manchester Guardian , is a British national daily newspaper in the Berliner format...

, The Daily Telegraph
The Daily Telegraph
The Daily Telegraph is a daily morning broadsheet newspaper distributed throughout the United Kingdom and internationally. The newspaper was founded by Arthur B...

and The Spectator
The Spectator
The Spectator is a weekly British magazine first published on 6 July 1828. It is currently owned by David and Frederick Barclay, who also owns The Daily Telegraph. Its principal subject areas are politics and culture...

and has authored books on William Joyce
William Joyce
William Joyce , nicknamed Lord Haw-Haw, was an Irish-American fascist politician and Nazi propaganda broadcaster to the United Kingdom during the Second World War. He was hanged for treason by the British as a result of his wartime activities, even though he had renounced his British nationality...

 and Catholicism
Catholicism is a broad term for the body of the Catholic faith, its theologies and doctrines, its liturgical, ethical, spiritual, and behavioral characteristics, as well as a religious people as a whole....

 in Ireland. In the past she wrote for the now defunct Irish Press where she was women's editor, and she also writes for the weekly The Irish Catholic
The Irish Catholic
The Irish Catholic is an Irish weekly Roman Catholic newspaper, providing news and commentary about the Roman Catholic Church. The 32-page tabloid paper is delivered worldwide....

. She is known in the UK as a Roman Catholic journalist. Crown and Shamrock: Love and Hate between Ireland and the British Monarchy (2009), described by Roy Foster
R. F. Foster (historian)
Robert Fitzroy Foster FBA FRHistS FRSL - generally known as Roy Foster - is the Carroll Professor of Irish History at Hertford College, Oxford in the UK.-Background and education:...

 as "characteristically breezy, racy and insightful". She is married to the journalist and writer Richard West
Richard West (journalist)
Richard West is a British journalist and author most noted for his reporting of the Vietnam War and Yugoslavia.Born in London, West attended Marlborough College before his national service spell in Trieste awakened a lifelong interest in Yugoslavia.Starting off his journalistic career at the...

, and is the mother of the journalists Patrick West
Patrick West
Dr. Patrick West is a freelance writer based in the UK and Ireland.Born in London in 1974, he graduated from Manchester University in 1997 with an MA in Cultural History...

 and Ed West.

She is author of the play Allegiance, in which Mel Smith
Mel Smith
Melvin Kenneth "Mel" Smith is an English comedian, writer, film director, producer, and actor. He is most famous for his work on the sketch comedy shows Not the Nine O'Clock News and Alas Smith and Jones along with his comedy partner Griff Rhys Jones.- Early life :Smith's father, Kenneth, was born...

 played Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, was a predominantly Conservative British politician and statesman known for his leadership of the United Kingdom during the Second World War. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the century and served as Prime Minister twice...

 and Michael Fassbender
Michael Fassbender
Michael Fassbender is an Irish-German actor. He is best known for playing Lt. Archie Hicox in Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds and Magneto in the superhero blockbuster X-Men: First Class...

 played Michael Collins
Michael Collins (Irish leader)
Michael "Mick" Collins was an Irish revolutionary leader, Minister for Finance and Teachta Dála for Cork South in the First Dáil of 1919, Director of Intelligence for the IRA, and member of the Irish delegation during the Anglo-Irish Treaty negotiations. Subsequently, he was both Chairman of the...

, at the Edinburgh Festival
Edinburgh Festival
The Edinburgh Festival is a collective term for many arts and cultural festivals that take place in Edinburgh, Scotland each summer, mostly in August...

 in 2006.

The poet James Fenton
James Fenton
James Martin Fenton is an English poet, journalist and literary critic. He is a former Oxford Professor of Poetry.-Life and career:...

 coined the euphemism 'Ugandan Discussions', first used by the magazine Private Eye
Private Eye
Private Eye is a fortnightly British satirical and current affairs magazine, edited by Ian Hislop.Since its first publication in 1961, Private Eye has been a prominent critic and lampooner of public figures and entities that it deemed guilty of any of the sins of incompetence, inefficiency,...

on 9 March 1973, to mean sexual intercourse, after an alleged encounter between Kenny and the former electricity minister in the Ugandan President Milton Obote
Milton Obote
Apolo Milton Obote , Prime Minister of Uganda from 1962 to 1966 and President of Uganda from 1966 to 1971, then again from 1980 to 1985. He was a Ugandan political leader who led Uganda towards independence from the British colonial administration in 1962.He was overthrown by Idi Amin in 1971, but...

's cabinet in 1973, before her marriage to Richard West
Richard West
Richard West may refer to:*Richard West, 7th Baron De La Warr and 4th Baron West *Richard West , 18th century Irish politician and lawyer*Richard West , member of British rock band Threshold*Mr...


Mary Kenny lives in Kent and Dublin.

External links

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