Mad, Bad and Dangerous


Emma O'Grady  (CREATOR & DIRECTOR),  Lara Hickey (PRODUCER) and Miriam Haughton (RESEARCHER & ASSOCIATE PRODUCER) are working on a  project called "Mad, Bad and Dangerous: a celebration of 'difficult' women."

During a global pandemic when the relationship that intersects age, gender, and public space has never been so fraught, the need to see, listen, and prioritise our elders has been rendered explicitly visible; unfortunately, so has the reality that this is often not the case and we want to change this.

The format is a documentary series of interviews where well-known Irish women over 70 years of age interview each other.  Each participant selects the next woman they want to interview, and it will continue like a relay.

The name 'Mad, Bad and Dangerous': In the 1960s Archbishop John Charles McQuaid described Lelia Doolan as “Mad, bad and dangerous” (a phrase originally coined by Lady Caroline Lamb about Lord Byron). 

This is a platform for older, influential Irish women to be seen and heard, with no agenda other than to create space for them to be irreverent, inappropriate and provocative. To say the things they haven’t said yet. These women trail-blazed for us since 1950s. They were moving mountains long before hashtags. Now it's time to pay them their dues.

Series One (4 episodes) will be pre-recorded in August 2020 and be broadcast online as 'live' events as part of two festivals in September and October and will be hosted online by RTÉ Culture.

Confirmed participants for Mad, Bad and Dangerous Series One:

Ep 1: Bernadette McAliskey & Lelia Doolan
Ep 2: Lelia Doolan & Dervla Murphy
Ep 3: Dervla Murphy & Jo Murphy Lawless
Ep 4: Jo Murphy Lawless & TBC

We are under huge pressure to get the funding in place at short notice because we want to grab this incredible opportunity of these great platforms hosting the show and time is of the essence with an idea like this.

Our target is €20k (to pay professional rates and ensure quality standards in equipment and resources ) and we have €10k from our supporters so far and need to raise a further €10k.  Age & Opportunity's Bealtaine, Galway County Council and a major Irish festival are the main funders. We also have support from Waterford City & Co. Council, the Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI) and NUI Galway plus we have a string of other organisations contributing smaller amounts and we are still seeking other grants and sponsorship.

We are appealing for personal donations and asking you to share this with anyone in your circle who you think would want to join us in making this unique project happen. We opened this fundraiser because we have had offers of donations from individuals working in the arts, culture and politics in the €50-€500 bracket. But we are open to all levels of donation, please do get in touch with queries.

Please DO  share on social media, or send it with a personal endorsement from you to a few people you know will 'get' this.

Full proposal and budget for Mad, Bad and Dangerous available on request. If we get Series 1 over the line with this additional support, we hope to build on that success and plan a Series 2 in 2021 and publish a companion book.

Your donation will be acknowledged and your name credited (unless you would prefer to remain anonymous which is no problem).

We are so excited about this project and the feedback we are getting about the idea is overwhelmingly positive. We would love for more people to get involved and we are open to any questions or queries you might have, or any suggestions or feedback - just get in touch! And please do pass this on if you feel there is someone who would be interested in helping us. 


Emma O'Grady (Up, Up, Up), Lara Hickey (Copper Alley) and Miriam Haughton (NUIG)

UPDATE 8th July 2020:
THANK YOU so much to everyone who has shared and donated. We are blown away by the support for the idea. The plan was to crowdfund €5k and find grants and sponsorship for the remaining €5k but we still have a gap. Having seen the power of what has happened here (reaching the target in under a week solely through private shares!) we have increased the target to €8k. It is now OK to share it publicly (we have removed any embargoed info). Thank you again - it gives us great encouragement. Emma, Lara & Miriam


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Emma Grady 
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