Tuesday 17 September 2019

Arts exhibition highlights legacy of women of the Rising

Arts Minister Heather Humphreys with Loreto College, St Stephen’s Green, Transition Year students, Aine Baldrey, Aine Kennedy, and Aoife O’Connor at the National Library of Ireland. Photo: Frank McGrath
Arts Minister Heather Humphreys with Loreto College, St Stephen’s Green, Transition Year students, Aine Baldrey, Aine Kennedy, and Aoife O’Connor at the National Library of Ireland. Photo: Frank McGrath

Allison Bray

For student Aine Baldrey, journalist Veronica Guerin embodied the spirit of the women of the Easter Rising.

The 16-year-old student from Clontarf, north Dublin, was among Transition Year students from Dublin, Monaghan and Waterford who took part in a special forum at the National Library in Dublin yesterday.

Transition Year students from St Angela’s School in Waterford, Aideen Kearns (16), Lily Power (16), Jade O Connor (15), Katie Judge (16), Ellen Casey (15) and Loise Fitzpatrick (16) pictured during the TY Talks - Women 1916-2016 at the National Library of Ireland. Photo: Frank McGrath
Transition Year students from St Angela’s School in Waterford, Aideen Kearns (16), Lily Power (16), Jade O Connor (15), Katie Judge (16), Ellen Casey (15) and Loise Fitzpatrick (16) pictured during the TY Talks - Women 1916-2016 at the National Library of Ireland. Photo: Frank McGrath

They showcased their arts projects which highlighted the heroines of the Rising and their impact on women today.

Portrait

Aine's project consisted of a hand-drawn portrait of the slain 'Sunday Independent' crime reporter superimposed over a collage of newspaper cuttings by and about the journalist who was killed by criminal gangs 20 years ago.

According to the Loreto College, St Stephen's Green student, Guerin embodied the same fighting spirit that Countess Markievicz and other 1916 heroines possessed.

"I believe she was just so incredibly brave in her pursuit of justice in the Dublin crime scene," she said.

"Women have had such amazing moments in Irish history and we should recognise that," she said.

Read more: How the arts helped us connect with the Rising 100 years on

Arts Minister Heather Humphreys, who officiated at the event as part of the Ireland 2016 Centenary programme, said she was impressed not only by the skill shown by the students' visual and multi-media projects, but by their understanding of how the women of the Rising paved the way for women in Ireland today.

"They're looking at the role of women in 1916 and that's very important to see the huge contribution they made," she said.

"What this has done has started the conversation about the role of women over the past 100 years.

"Veronica Guerin was a very inspirational woman and 20 years on from her death it's interesting to see that the girls are now looking up to her as somebody who stood up for the truth and wanted to bring justice to this country," she said.

Inspiration

For fellow Loreto College student Aoife O'Connor (16), from Malahide, it was the radical suffragette and republican Hanna Sheehy-Skeffington whom she found to be an inspiration for herself and generations of women after the Rising.

"When I read about her I was really inspired about how much she fought for women's rights and how much she impacted our lives today," she told the Irish Independent.

Irish Independent

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