Women in Politics and Public Life – an exhibition of the last 100 years opens in Limerick

Ryan O'Rourke

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Ryan O'Rourke

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ryan.orourke@limerickleader.ie

Women in Politics and Public Life – an exhibition of the last 100 years opens in Limerick

Deputy Jan O'Sullivan with historian Sinéad McCoole who curated the exhibition | PICTURE: Keith Wiseman

AN exhibition which looks at the important role Limerick and Munster women have played in politics and public life over the past century has been unveiled at City Hall.

The display, titled 100 Years of Women in Politics and Public Life, 1918-2018, is an exciting experience that shines a spotlight on the stories of very familiar and less well-known women, who have contributed significantly to Irish political and public life over the past century.

It details and explores the challenges they faced and the obstacles they overcame, as Irish society shifted through the decades. The exhibition is curated by the historian, Sinéad McCoole.

“I am delighted that I’m in Limerick representing the Department of Culture Heritage and the Gaeltacht’s commemorations unit. For me, it is a homecoming, although I am gone from Limerick 30 years. Bringing an exhibition to Limerick as the Munster venue has been a joy, and to such a wonderful venue at Istabraq Hall,” said Sinead.

“Documenting the women’s journey over the past 100 years, I have the privilege of creating Ireland’s first physical women’s museum, albeit as a pop up, thanks to the generosity of many families, archives and collections. With panels, multimedia, objects and clothing you can travel through the decades at this exhibition. It is an honour as a historian feminising Irish history and changing the canon,” she added.

The exhibition coincides with Dáil 100, a series commemorating the centenary of the sitting of the first Dáil and the Decade of Centenaries, which is a programme of commemorations relating to some of the most significant events in Irish history between 1912 and 1922.

“The idea came about in the latter half of the 2016 Centenary. I discovered that the most powerful and important women in our country were not featured in our national collection,” said Sinead.

“It was difficult, we have a virtual women's museum, but this was a chance of a lifetime to make the physical women's museum.

“There are 88 women's museum worldwide and for a short time we are the 89,” she added.

The pop-up museum at Istabraq Hall contains unseen family photographs, films, interviews, objects, and clothes.

The exhibition is free and is open to the public every Monday to Friday (10am - 5pm) until March 19, 2019.