A petition to have a new bridge in Dublin called after a woman will be submitted to Dublin City Council this afternoon. The Daily Shift’s Jenny Holmes reports…
‘Dublin City Council: Recognise the Women of Ireland’ contains 784 signatures (at the time of going to print) and is hoping to encourage the council to name a bridge under construction between Marlborough Street and Hawkins Street, the Rosie Hackett Bridge.
Activist Beibhinn Farrell started the petition, said:
“There are currently 16 bridges over the River Liffey in Dublin’s city centre. Thirteen of these bridges are named after men and not one of the bridges is named after a women. We are calling on Dublin City Council to name the new Marlborough Street Bridge the Rosie Hackett Bridge. We believe that in this, the 100 year anniversary of the 1913 lock out, that we pay tribute to the many women who made a huge contribution to the labour movement over the last 100 years”.
Born in 1892, Rosie Hackett was a messenger in Jacob’s biscuit factory in Dublin. She joined the Irish Transport and General Workers’ Union in 1909 and a year later was one of 3,000 women in the factory who went on strike and won a pay rise.
A few years later Hackett encouraged the women in the factory to strike as part of the 1913 Dublin Lockout which resulted in 20,000 workers on strike.
When she was dismissed from Jacob’s factory she trained as a printer, and is believed to have brought the first printed copy of the 1916 Proclamation of Independence to James Connolly
She was a member of the Irish Citizen Army and she re-founded the Irish Women Workers’ Union with Louie Bennett and Helen Chenevix. In 1970 Hackett received a gold medal in recognition of her 60 years’ service to the Irish trade union movement, yet she is almost forgotten in today’s world.
Hundreds of names have been informally suggested so far including James Connolly, Katie Taylor, Bram Stoker, Myles na gCopaleen and Ronnie Drew.
Radio Nova Breakfast is running its own e-petition to have the bridge named after the Thin Lizzy front man Phil Lynott, while online campaign ‘The Maeve Binchy Bridge Campaign’ would like to see the Irish author honoured.
However, Dublin City Council has said that the bridge will only be named after a person who has died in the last 20 years “in very exceptional circumstances” and the names of living persons will not be considered. He or she must have made a “unique and outstanding contribution” to the life or history of the city.