Local woman helps name bridge after trade unionist

Published 11/09/2013 | 05:36

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Angelina Cox (left) from Listowel overlooking the bridge, which is currently under construction to the left, of the photo. The other girl is Jennifer Gartland from Dublin who campaigned with Angelina to name the bridge after Rosie Hackett.

IF she were still alive today 1913 workers' champion Rosie Hackett would undoubtedly be very taken with one young Listowel woman.

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IF she were still alive today 1913 workers' champion Rosie Hackett would undoubtedly be very taken with one young Listowel woman.

Few of us had heard of Rosie over a week ago. But thanks to the passionate campaigning of Law student Angelina Cox, from the Ballybunion Road, Rosie's memory is alive again among the nation.

Angelina was one of the leaders of the Labour Youth campaign which succeeded in naming the new Marlborough Street bridge after the trade unionist.

A woman way ahead of her time, Rosie Hackett campaigned for workers' rights to her own great cost throughout the early part of the 20th Century.

She was a member of Larkin's Irish Transport and General Workers' Union (ITGWU); galvanising and organising thousands of workers in her place of employment at Jacob's Biscuit Factory up until the dreadful lockout.

She also played a key role in the fight for Irish independence as a member of the Irish Citizen Army under leader James Connolly. Indeed, it was Hackett who handed over the first copy of the Proclamation of Independence to Pearse, fresh from her printing press.

For Angelina, Rosie's example highlights the vital role women played in the story of the nascent republic; one overlooked all too often by the history books.

"Lamentably, women's contributions to historic struggles have not received recognition in Dublin city's landscape," Angelina told The Kerryman.

"I think it is very relevant that Rosie would be celebrated as someone who fought for workers' rights and, at that, a woman as so few are remembered today. The naming of the Marlborough Street Bridge, which is presently under construction, is a timely opportunity to redress this gender imbalance," Angelina added.

She said she and her friends in the campaign to name the bridge after Rosie Hackett were thrilled with the success. "We were delighted with it. Rosie did as much as Connolly or Larkin but never received the same amount of recognition. And on a personal level I developed a deep affection for her as she was such a modest woman who never sought any recognition."

Kerryman

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