Ellen Keane is a Gold medal Paralympian who has crossed over from performance in sport to become the most visible proponent of normalised ‘disability’ we have.

She has been in the public spotlight since she first swam for Ireland at the Paralympic Games in Beijing as a 13-year-old in 2008.

Born with only one arm she has consistently stepped forward to show others in her position, as well as the general public that the focus should be on a person’s ability rather than any physical difference.

Because of the impact she and others along the way have had, it is almost too easy to underestimate just what a difference she has made.

In 2022 she has appeared on Dancing with the Stars as well as in a TV ad for Allianz, launched her own Podcast, and written her autobiography.

From being open and honest about the challenges she faced as a child, talking about coming to terms with her ‘lucky fin’ and maintaining her place at the top of her sport she shows every day what is possible.

And there is still the matter of Paris 2024 to prepare for.

See who else has joined Ellen on the 2022 list by clicking on the image below.




This is the tenth edition of our Sport for Business listing of 50 Women of Influence in Irish Sport.

Read more about the list and nominate who you think should be a part of it in 2022.

We are proud to do so again this year with AIG, an organisation that has pledged its commitment to equality in its partnerships with Gaelic Games, Tennis, Golf and more, for whom “Effort is Equal” and with whom we have ambitious plans to extend the reach of this annual celebration of the Women who are making a difference.

This year’s list will be drawn as before from the worlds of leadership, partnership, storytelling, and performance.

We began this journey in 2013 when challenged that we would never be able to produce a list of twenty Influential Women in Irish Sport. The 20 stretched to 30, then 40 and 50 and it still does not do justice to the talent that is out there.

This year once more, to keep things fresh we will introduce at least 30 percent of fresh names from last year. That will be the hardest part to have some names replaced but if it was too easy it would be of less value.

The list we will continue to build over the coming weeks is a snapshot of those women who are making a mark on how sport is played, consumed, grown and delivered.

They are part of making the role of women in sport unexceptional by being exceptional in what they do.