While the concept of Bean Feasa – Ireland’s Wise Women – may seem like a tradition of yore, you find these remarkable beings in the most modern of places.
Of course there is an awful lot of nonsense bandied about on social media these days, and there is forever a new trend that I simply cannot fathom, but that’s not to say that there aren’t pockets of wisdom to be discovered amongst the noise.
I personally find that Instagram is a wonderful source of inspiration if you know where to look, and I’ve discovered so many creative and talented people there that bring true value to my experience of the platform. As we celebrate our Bean Feasa theme, I want to nod to a few of the women who are doing their ancestors proud by sharing their courage, creativity and wisdom via modern means.
We’re going to start with Miss Ireland Universe 2018 – who has a whole lot going for her other than just outstanding outfits and enviable abs (although admittedly these both feature heavily on her page.)
Grainne is a Donegal-born nurse who has been working on the frontline throughout the pandemic, hosts a fascinating “True Crime” podcast with her sister, and generally is all all-round good ’un. From her amusingly relatable reels to her hilarious (yet commendable) lockdown attempts at roller-skating, this girl is not afraid to laugh at herself – and welcomes all of her followers in on the joke.
Looking for a touch of glamour on the gram? Prep your peepers for the Irish make-up sensation that is Keilidh Cashell.
Famed for her sparkling rock chic style and her creative costume cosmetics – Keilidh has, at just 24-years-old, launched her very own brand “Kash Beauty” which is full of fun and free of cruelty. She not only supplies the products but shares how to apply them to achieve any number of desired looks – from the fresh and natural to the bold and whimsical.
Whether you’re looking learn some valuable tricks of the trade for your beauty regime, or are simply fascinated to see how a look comes together – Keilidh is the ultimate Bean Feasa of make-up!
As much as we all love to look good on the outside, our inner beauty is just as important and Sarah Crosby has brought her talents as a therapist to social media - making all that scrolling just a little better for our mental health.
Author of ‘Five Minute Therapy’, the Dubliner shares brightly coloured advice posts on @TheMindGeek, that grab your attention from your usual Instagram consumption, and prompt you to take a moment of contemplation. Each image is accompanied by her own expertise on the relevant subject, which is easily understandable and applicable to our everyday lives.
So lie on the sofa, and treat yourself to a few seconds of social media therapy, that will arm you with the wisdom and assurance that you need to be your best self.
Now that our minds are well-nourished, let’s turn our attention to our stomachs – as your eyes consume some of the most mouth-watering foodie photos on Irish Instagram.
Lilly Higgins is a food writer, blogger and all-round gourmet goddess who works with a wide plethora of publications – including a weekly column with the Irish Times! Her grid is a delightful array of colourful dishes that you will be just bursting to try and, with the recipe right there in the description, it couldn’t be easier to get started.
As well as the alluring cuisine, you’ll also be treated to the occasional scenic snapshot of her native Cork – which I know will appeal to the appetites of all those Irish at Heart!
If you’re more interested in the kitchen itself, rather than the food that’s produced there, then you’re probably in the market for a good interior design project – and House By The Cherry Blossom really ticks all of the boxes.
Jayne and her family have literally built their home from the ground up, and now that it’s standing she has steadily been filling it with the stuff of dreams. From her blush pink claw-foot bath, to her geometrically perfect modern kitchen – you can’t fail to be inspired by her sophisticated yet lively taste.
Throughout her interior design journey she has given birth to two gorgeous little ones, who feature occasionally in her content - which is a lovely example of just how she’s making this house a home.
Home was certainly where the art was for Maggie Kennedy, who got in touch with her creative side during the restoration of her 18th century country house in Carlow –so much so that she took up a new calling as an artist.
Her Instagram is a beautiful blend of her fabulous work, and the stunning surroundings from which she takes her inspiration. I love following along with her day to day life, and seeing how her experience and personality comes alive in her work.
There are no wiser women than those who choose to chase their dreams, and watching Maggie follow hers always puts a smile on my face.
In an age that sometimes seems inundated with bad news and serious issues, a bit of light relief is always welcome on our timelines.
Dongeal cartoonist Maria Boyle shares her quirky thoughts and relatable wisdom through her chuckle-worthy illustrations and it really is a sure-fire reminder that we’re all in this together. I sometimes find myself actively checking her page for any new posts – rather like those days that you find yourself skipping through the newspapers to get to the cartoons. It’s a lovely way to brace yourself for the day ahead, with a smile on your lips and a spring in your step.
Now I saved this one for last, simply because I think this account is just a brilliantly unique example of an Instagram Bean Feasa.
Rebecca describes her niche as “folklore and fashion”, and she combines the two in such a fascinating way that truly evokes the mysticism and tradition of Ireland. She explores the wild and wonderful corners of the Emerald Isle, with her red hair streaming behind her as she discovers the hidden treasures of this country that we all love so much.
She has an ethical approach to fashion, that in no way hinders her creative expression and – although a picture paints a thousand words – she knows the power of a good story. As a result her Instagram is like a charming little picture book – full of bright and engaging images, that are accompanied by tales and tibits from this Irish heritage that we all hold so dear.
Will you be clicking that blue “Follow” button for any of the above? What other wise Irish women of Instagram inspire you on a daily basis? Let me know in the comments below!