The dining hall at King's Inns in Dublin is an imposing space with chandeliers, long dining tables and, of course, many portraits lining the walls.

The portraits are of former Chief Justices - and only one, Susan Denham, is a woman.

This imbalance can also be seen elsewhere in the building - in fact in total there are only three portraits of women hung in the institution, which provides training for barristers.

This is despite the fact that in the Irish legal world itself, men and women are now equally represented at the Irish bar.

The In Plain Sight project aims to address this issue by providing a bursary from the Bar of Ireland, together with the support of The Honorable Society of King's Inns to commission artists to paint female lawyers.

The first portrait unveiled by artist Emma Stroude depicts Frances Kyle BL and Averil Deverell BL, who were called to the Bar in 1921 after the enactment of the Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act 1919.

The first portrait in the 'In Plain Sight' project

Ms Stroude was assisted in her research by historian Liz Goldthorpe and Renate Ní Uigin and Mary Griffin of King's Inns and says the process taught her a lot about the lives of the women and how their achievements had an impact on women today.

"I felt a real responsibility to do a good job on their behalf, because when you present an image in this way, that is how a lot of people will remember them," Ms Stoude said.

She used photographs, documents and technology to recreate their images and located the painting at the Four Courts.

Maura McNally SC, Chair of The Council of The Bar of Ireland, left, with artist Emma Stroude and Hugh Mohan SC, Chair, The Honorable Society of King's Inns

Speaking at the unveiling today, Chair of the Council of The Bar of Ireland Maura McNally SC said: "This will be a first of many portraits.

"As the King’s Inns is the centre for formation and training of barristers, the need for a more representative and contemporary reflection of the profession has been identified so that those passing through have a better understanding of the role that women have played and continue to play at the Bar.

"Emma Stroude’s treatment captures the dignity and determined nature of the two barristers, as they take that first step towards making history."

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The portrait, owned by The Bar of Ireland, will be provided on loan to The Honorable Society of King’s Inns, as well as temporary loans to other institutions.

The bursary is intended to be a multi-annual initiative.