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Posted on: 10/09/2015

Speech Night

Baroness Nuala O'Loan took Loreto Grammar School girls on a world tour of today's continuing female subservience to tell the next generation of high achieving young women they had a responsibility to make a difference.
A member of the House of Lords and renowned former Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland, Baroness O'Loan has combined a career defining the highest standards of public life while bringing up a family of six children, all achieved against the backdrop of Northern Ireland's simmering religious antagonism.
Speaking before a packed audience at Manchester's glittering Bridgewater Hall at the top Altrincham Catholic school's glittering annual Speech Night, Baroness O'Loan said: “You are high achieving young women who have been given every opportunity. In comparison with your counterparts across the world you really must appreciate those opportunities and make a difference.”
The Baroness hoped the next generation of women would have more opportunities. “When I went to King's College in London to read Law there were 88 men and 12 women. As a lecturer in Law, I have always taught far more men than women and today in the House of Lords there are 75% men and 25% women - a ratio that is still reflected right across public life.”
“It has been of little concern to me whom I have taught, I have concentrated not on their gender but on their intellectual capacity and their ability to rise to set challenges, but I do hope more and more women such as yourselves will be able to make a contribution.”
Education by the order of Holy Child Nuns in Harrogate, the Baroness said it was her 'gospel teaching which had underpinned my work. My faith and my education have guided my own sense of integrity.'
She continued: “We were never told that being a wife and mother was not enough, that was a vocation, but if you was possible to make a difference in different ways then you should try your hardest to do that too. That is a philosophy I have seen in action, if you try your hardest generally you will get what you deserve.”
Loreto Grammar School Headteacher Mrs Beever said: “Baroness O'Loan is a shining example to the next generation of talented women not just of a citizen's rights and responsibilities, but of every woman's opportunity in this country to have a wonderful and fulfilled personal and public life. It depends on you.”

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