Tuesday 21 November 2017

Rosie Hackett may not be everyone's choice for the naming of a bridge, but she ticks the right boxes at the right time

Mary Kenny

Mary Kenny

I don't believe I had ever heard of Rosie Hackett before it was announced that she was a candidate to be honoured with a new bridge across the River Liffey in Dublin. And now she has won the competition, outstripping suggestions favouring Maeve Binchy, Seamus Heaney and Frank Duff.

Perhaps my ignorance of Rosie Hackett's life – a solid working-class Dublin trade unionist, employed by Jacobs, the biscuit-makers – is just a reflection of that: my ignorance. Well, that has been somewhat rectified, though I await a biography of Rosie, who died in 1976. Until now, she hasn't figured in the usual collections of renowned Irish lives.

There was some grumbling on social media – Facebook – that Ms Hackett's nomination, and triumph, was achieved through smart lobbying (from the 'Irish Left Review') and even a 'Stalinist' fix within the municipality of Dublin, but there are always such grumblings.

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