On 14 December 2018 the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Josepha Madigan TD, officially opened a new pop-up museum, entitled 100 years of Women in politics and public life 1918–2018, exploring 100 years of women’s participation in politics and public life. The ‘pop-up’ is an initiative of the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht as part of the Decade of Centenaries programme. The content is curated by historian Sinéad McCoole and examines the stories of very familiar and less well known women, who have contributed significantly to Irish political and public life over the past century – on the challenges they faced and the obstacles they overcame.
In opening the exhibition, Minister Madigan said that “I’d like you to imagine this for a moment: 100 years ago, no woman in this room, solely because she was female, was permitted to run for election in this country. As a woman in Ireland, no matter how educated or intelligent, it could not be done. Even if that woman was bursting with ideas and reforming policies, she could not bring them forward. It wasn’t that she wouldn’t contemplate it, it was simply that she was prohibited to do so by law”. The ‘pop-up’ is intended to encourage discussion, debate and analysis by facilitating an ongoing exploration of this often overlooked aspect of Irish history.
The installation at the Coach House in Dublin Castle opened on the centenary of the 1918 general election, the first opportunity for eligible women to exercise their franchise and/or their right to stand as a candidate in parliamentary elections. It is open 10:00-17:00 daily until Sunday 3 February 2019. Admission is free.
Learn more about the Houses of the Oireachtas initiative Votáil 100, commemorating the centenary of the 1918 expanded franchise in Ireland and Britain.