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By the age of ten, Monica McWilliams was dispensing payouts in her granny’s post office, book-keeping for her cattle-dealer father and leaving no one in any doubt that she could stand up for herself. She went on to break the mould in so many ways, as a woman, as an activist and as a politician. In this frank and fascinating memoir, she tells her extraordinary story for first time.
A Derry Catholic, she participated in the civil rights protests of the 1960s. She was 15 when attended her first NICRA meeting in ’69. Her ground-breaking work on domestic violence and the training she delivered to police officers and the Public Prosecution Service.
Her pivotal role in the women’s movement in Northern Ireland and her work on the ground with cross-community groups such as Poverty Lobby, Gingerbread, Women’s AidHer co-founding of the Northern Ireland Women’s Coalition and her participation in the peace talks that led to the signing of The Good Friday Agreement. The deep misogyny and discrimination that she and the Coalition were subjected to during their time in politics and how they stood up to that. Her 5 years as a serving politician in the NI Assembly.
Her work with victims as Chief Commissioner of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission and her global work in human rights and peace-building