Linda Kelly
expert | advocate | changemaker

They say that the beginning is a very good place to start...

but if I do that you’ll be on the site for hours because the beginning for me is in itself a pretty big story. So let’s fast forward a bit to 2004 when little old me headed off to UCC – the first in my immediate family to go to third level. I should have been going to study medicine but I was five points short when the i’s were dotted and the t’s crossed on my Leaving Cert and with a heavy heart started in Speech and Language therapy. At the time I wasn’t sure about the course, but with the benefit of hindsight I can see the value in doing a four year degree in how humans communicate and what happens when that goes wrong. The degree also gave me my first experience of public service as I went on numerous placements across the HSE. 


I found my professional home in the trade union movement in 2012 when I started working with Fórsa (then IMPACT) as an Organiser in their newly established Education Division. I then went on to be a Lead Organiser, Industrial Relations Officer and, in 2017, I was appointed as an Assistant General Secretary – at the time the youngest person to have been appointed to that role in the history of the Union. In 2019, I was appointed to the first ever Director of Training and Development role within the Union and as Director, I’m responsible for the creation of the Fórsa Skills Academy in 2020.


When you speak your own truth, you give other people permission to speak theirs. In both my personal and professional life, I have always found that to be true. As an advocate for a more equal society, I am regularly found speaking out against inequalities in the media. I like to contribute my voice to broadcast and print media, locally and nationally and am proud to be a member of Women on Air. I tell my story, and amplify other stories because this is what will make a difference to the conversation and I use these platforms to lobby for progressive change. My most recent story was one of the most difficult to write. You can read it here.


“Never Doubt That a Small Group of Thoughtful, Committed Citizens Can Change the World; Indeed, It’s the Only Thing That Ever Has.”
Margaret Mead

This quote captures my changemaker mindset and I bring it with me to every campaign. Most campaigns I get involved with have a strong equality and feminist ethos that match my own values and principles. I’m currently involved in the #bettermaternitycare and #covidwomensvoices campaign. You can check out some of the highlights of 15 years + campaign life below.

Founder of Womxn Ascend

In January 2021, I founded Women Ascend – an Instagram platform passion project. Women Ascend is a place for women to discuss, examine and realise their power and to use it with purpose. Want to join the conversation?


I love collaborating with people and organisations who share my values. If you would like to work together in any of these areas, please contact me and we can chat about how to achieve something great together:



public speaking

strategic planning




Covid pregnancy: The loneliness of labouring alone

This piece was originally published by the Irish Examiner on the 2nd December 2020. When the Government was planning its ‘Living with Covid-19’ strategy, pregnant women were forgotten about. It’s not good enough.  She runs through the familiar questions while pointing the revolver like thermometer at my forehead. “Have you

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An open letter to the HSE

Submitted via email to [email protected] after reading a media report that the Master of the Rotunda said they (HSE management) weren’t receiving any negative feedback about the current restrictions. Dear HSE, The current Covid 19 restrictions in place for CUMH (and other maternity hospitals) are not fit for purpose. I

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The Assault

I woke up disorientated, unsure of where I was and in pain. I started to open my eyes while trying to figure out my surroundings. Realising I was in a hospital bed, I went to pull myself up. Searing pain cut through my entire body and I fell back onto the bed.

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Linda Kelly
expert | advocate | changemaker
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