THE nephew of trade unionist Rosie Hackett has said she would be ‘giggling quietly to herself’ if she knew that Dublin’s newest bridge had been named in her honour.
“I’d say she’d be giggling quietly to herself, she would be slightly embarrassed about it, but she’s also be very proud to know that women have come to where they are in Dublin at this stage” he told Morning Ireland.
He said his family is proud of role Hackett played in advancing women’s rights in Ireland.
“Obviously there’s a great sense of pride absolutely, but this is about Rosie, what she did and what she stood for and women like her.
“I looked at the Dublin City Council meeting last night and the amount of women that are on the council and I thought to myself but for the likes of Rosie and women like her, perhaps there wouldn’t be so many women involved in high profile positions like that.
“I was really impressed by the amount of young women who became involved in the campaign to have the bridge named after Rosie.”
He also said that although she was small in stature, she had a big character: “She was a very small woman in stature, but very big in character, and if she seen [sic] something that was wrong, she’d do something to right it. Not just for her sake, but primarily for others.”
He also said Rosie would be back out on the streets if she were around to witness Ireland’s current economic woes.
“I would think she would have an opinion on the way things are in this country at the moment and if she was still with us she’d be back fighting again to try and rectify this country.”
It was announced last night that the new Marlborough Street bridge would be named after the trade unionist and 1916 veteran.
She was a founder member of the Irish Women Workers' Union, was involved in the 1913 Lockout and fought for the Irish Citizen Army during the 1916 Rising.
Heroes of literature, sport, politics and science had been considered for the Marlborough Street Bridge name.
Left-wing support was firmly behind Rosie Hackett and the name had previously emerged as an early favourite for the new public-transport link in Dublin city centre.
It was also noted that not one of the 16 bridges between Heuston station and the East Link was named after a woman.
Spanning the river between Marlborough Street and Hawkins Street – just east of O'Connell Bridge – the Rosie Hackett Bridge will carry the new Luas Cross City Line.
Costing an estimated €15m, it is expected to be ready for use by February next year.
The 'heavy lifting' phase of construction is almost at an end, with some 4,400 tonnes of concrete and 500 tonnes of steel already used in the project.
A final shortlist of five names was put to vote at a full council meeting last night. The names were: Willie Bermingham, founder of Alone; Frank Duff, founder of the Legion of Mary; Rosie Hackett; Kay Mills, who played camogie for Dublin; and Bram Stoker, creator of Dracula.
The names had been whittled down from an original list of 85 nominations by the city council's Commemorative Naming Committee, comprising of eight councillors.
When finished, the bridge will carry a single southbound tram track in the centre and two southbound bus and cycle lanes either side.