The Countess is a non-profit, volunteer-led organisation formed to promote the rights and interests of women and children in Ireland. Inspired by her significant contribution to Irish public life, we take our lead and our name from Countess Constance Georgine Markiewicz who, as Minister for Labour in the First Dáil, was the first female cabinet minister in all of Europe.
Countess Markiewicz blazed a trail for women’s rights at a time when they were severely restricted. She was at the vanguard of a social revolution that envisioned an Ireland that cherished all her children equally, irrespective of socio-economic status, religion, sex, or other social markers used to limited life choices and chances.
A fundamental part of the Irish revolution championed by Markiewicz, and her contemporaries was achieving equality for women and affording adequate social and economic protection to all children. Sadly, though Ireland’s statehood was eventually won, the rights of women and safeguarding of children has remained elusive for much of our first century as an independent State. The Countess was formed to address this through campaigning, awareness raising, policy development, advocacy, and constructive dialogue.
Our membership is a diverse cross-section of people concerned by the conflict of rights and child safeguarding issues arising out of gender self-ID. It is made up of a wide spectrum of professions including doctors, lawyers, writers, IT specialists, students, carers, full-time parents, and anyone willing to contribute their time and skills to further our mission. We are volunteer-led, self-funded, and not affiliated with any political party or religion.
The Countess was initially established in 2019 to focus attention on the conflict of rights and child safeguarding issues emerging from the self-ID approach to gender recognition introduced through the Gender Recognition Act 2015.
In the 2015 Gender Recognition Act, the “medical model” was rescinded in favour of the “self-ID model”. The 2015 Act changed the medical requirement to a simple declaration of one’s own sincere intention to live as the opposite gender. There is no requirement to be assessed, and one can simply apply for a Gender Recognition Certificate online to be legally recognised as the opposite sex. This process is known as “self-identification”, or self-ID.
This seismic change in Irish law, with its far-reaching implications for women and children’s rights and protections on the basis of sex, was quietly signed into law in July 2015, two months after the Marriage Equality Referendum.
We promote constructive, respectful, and rights-focused dialogue on this issue, and wish to see a balanced approach to gender recognition that will,
- Vindicate the rights of women and restore single sex provision,
- Achieve best practice in safeguarding for children and young people, and
- Defend the hard-won rights of same sex attracted people to love who they love.
We are the first advocacy group in any self-ID jurisdiction, anywhere in the world, to bring forward an amendment Bill which will exclude prisons from the scope of a gender recognition certificate. Thanks to the hard work and relentless campaigning, we have successful secured enough TDs to sign our bill so that a long-overdue debate will now take place on the floor of the Dáil. Our opponents will have to defend the indefensible; the placing of men who say they are women in the women’s prison. For more information on the proposed amendment, click on the following link; https://thecountess.ie/historic-bill-drafted-by-laoise-de-brun-bl/
We have a growing mailing list, which we use to keep people informed about the implications and unforeseen abuses of the self-ID process, such as convicted sex offenders being granted Gender Recognition Certificates, allowing them the legal right to be treated as women, and to be transferred to the women’s wing of Limerick Prison, or a man in his forties playing on a ladies’ GAA team, and using the ladies changing rooms, or school toilets being upgraded to include all genders, effectively making them mixed sex and to share our resources with you – Join our mailing list
If you would like to show support or get involved, we’d love to hear from you – get in in touch
Since the launch of The Countess in September 2020, we have gained over 20,000 followers across social media, with 17,000 followers on Twitter alone. Follow & Subscribe here:
© THE COUNTESS ADVOCACY COMPANY LIMITED BY GUARANTEE, 2023. All rights reserved.
THE COUNTESS ADVOCACY COMPANY LIMITED BY GUARANTEE is a not-for-profit company registered by guarantee.
Company number: 714196