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Dublin Castle could get a blue plaque where an Irish suffragette smashed a window

Dublin City Council are to make a decision on the proposal submitted by Hanna Sheehy Skeffington’s granddaughter by the end of the month.

A BLUE PLAQUE could be erected in Dublin Castle to commemorate where an Irish suffragette smashed a window as part of a campaign to get women the right to vote.

But Dublin City Council has said that if the plaque is approved, it will take four weeks to design and create it, meaning it can’t be erected in time for the centenary anniversary of women in Ireland being given the right to vote.

The granddaughter of prominent nationalist and suffragette Hanna Sheehy Skeffington, Micheline, made a submission to the Office of Public Works for the plaque to be erected. The OPW, which runs Dublin Castle, approved the application and passed it on for final approval by Dublin City Council.

In November 1908, Hanna was one of the founders of the Irish Women’s Franchise League, which aimed to ensure that women got the right to vote as part of the Home Rule Bill.

On 13 June 1912, she and seven other women were arrested for smashing the glass windows of Dublin Castle as part of a protest. She spent a month in Mountjoy prison after being convicted, followed by another month after they refused to pay a fine.

Dublin Castle

If the submission is approved by councillors, Micheline is hoping the plaque will be erected in time for 6 February, the 100th year anniversary of women getting the right to vote and run in Irish elections.

But in a statement to TheJournal.ie, Dublin City Council said that isn’t possible, though a temporary plaque could be used instead for ceremonial purposes.

It said that the application for a plaque in honour of Sheehy Skeffington will be considered by the Commemorative Naming Committee next Wednesday.

DSC_1513 The plaque would go between the pedestrian entrance and the window to the far right. Source: Gráinne Ní Aodha

It added that “the design and manufacture of the plaque takes a minimum of four weeks after approval by the Commemorative Naming Committee”, meaning it wouldn’t be in place until March at the earliest.

The application for the plaque was made under the Commemorative Plaques Scheme, which was established to commemorate “people, organisations and events that have made a unique and significant contribution to the life or history of Dublin through outstanding achievement, distinctive service or significant community contribution”.

Sheehy Skeffington

Hanna Sheehy Skeffington was born in Cork in 1877; her family relocated to Tipperary when she was three years old. As well as being a prominent Irish suffragette and an ardent Irish republican, she also has some interesting famous names attached to her family.

Hanna’s uncle Father Eugene Sheehy was a teacher of the future President of Ireland Éamon de Valera. Hanna was also good friends with the famous Irish writer James Joyce. Joyce would introduce Hanna to her future husband, Francis; whom she met with regularly in Bewley’s Cafe to discuss politics.

During the 1916 Rising, Skeffington carried messages and food to and from the GPO. Her husband Francis was wrongfully arrested and then murdered by British soldiers during that time.

Read: Markievicz exhibit among celebration of 100 years since women’s right to vote

Read: UK government will commemorate the election of republican Countess Markievicz next December

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