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Sunday 10 December 2023 Dublin: 6°C
Herstory Suffragette and trade unionist Countess Markievicz, art by Jim Fitzpatrick, illuminating the GPO

Buildings to be lit up to celebrate iconic women throughout history

Herstory Light Festival is an annual light festival which celebrates women and girls on Nollaig na mBan.

A LIGHT FESTIVAL to celebrate iconic women throughout history is set to take place in Ireland today. 

Herstory Light Festival is an annual light festival which celebrates women and girls on the weekend of Nollaig na mBan, or Women’s Little Christmas. 

The Herstory Light Festival launched in January 2017 as a grassroots light festival and quickly gathered momentum around Ireland, with castles, museums, theatres, libraries, offices and homes illuminating in celebration of women and girls. 

Today, the third annual Herstory Light Festival will illuminate landmarks across Dublin city with lost ancient heroines, contemporary activists and historical trailblazers. 

“Women’s achievements and struggles have been lost in the shadows for too long, resulting in global inequality and a regression of women’s rights,” Herstory founder Melanie Lynch said. 

“That’s why Herstory is harnessing the alchemical power of light, to celebrate women and equality, spotlight inequality, and create visions for a world of equals.” 

Herstory - 03 Ge0Pop / Herstory The iconic Bean na hÉireann poster, celebrating the centenary of the Irish Women’s Suffrage movement Ge0Pop / Herstory / Herstory

Shona project 

As part of the festival, the Shona Project will be celebrated as images of members of the team and Shona herself will be projected onto the GPO in Dublin City. 

The Shona Project is a non-profit organisation which aims to educate, empower and inspire young Irish women. 

The project was founded as a tribute to Shona Darcy, the sister of its founder Tammy Darcy. Shona suffered a brain injury at the age of 15 which left her requiring 24-hour nursing care for her adult life. 

Her photo is just one of those that will be projected onto the GPO on Saturday evening. 

“We are so excited to have been invited to take part in this year’s festival and see our team featured on one of Ireland’s most loved historical landmarks. Our organisation wants to encourage Ireland’s young girls to dream big, support each other and believe in themselves and this achievement embodies that ethos,” Darcy said. 

Speaking of her sister Shona, Darcy said her ambition was to “work caring for others”. 

“For me, through the project, Shona is able to create the impact she always dreamed of, Darcy said. 

“She never got to realise her potential, but now, in her name, so many girls will realise their potential and achieve their dreams.” 

The illuminations will take place from 4.30pm to 6.30pm this evening at Dublin’s GPO. 

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