The original Hanna and her sisters were not the characters created by Woody Allen for his classic 1986 film, but the Sheehy Skeffingtons, who were prominent figures in Irish history.
Hanna and Her Sisters: The lives of Hanna Sheehy Skeffington and Margaret Sheehy Culhane Casey, as told by their granddaughters is a free public lecture which will be hosted by the NUI Galway Centre for Irish Studies next week.
The lecture will take place in the Joseph Larmor Lecture Theatre, NUIG, on Tuesday at 8pm, and be given by NUIG’s Dr Micheline Sheehy Skeffington and Prof Dara Culhane of Canada’s Simon Fraser University.
In the first presentation, Dr Sheehy Skeffington will give an account on aspects of Hanna Sheehy Skeffington’s life, using archive photos and material housed in the National Library, Dublin.
While studying in the then Royal University in Dublin, Hanna became aware of the lack of power given to women, specifically in relation to the vote. She eventually co-founded the Irish Women’s Franchise League with Margaret Cousins in 1908 and was imprisoned for suffrage activities.
Her husband Francis Sheehy Skeffington was murdered in 1916 and she was elected to tour the US to expose the truth behind his murder and campaign for Irish freedom. She returned in 1918 to serve on the Sinn Féin Executive.
The second presentation, by Professor Culhane, is based on a reading of Margaret Sheehy Culhane Casey’s letters to her sister Hanna. An actress and elocutionist, Margaret lived in Montreal, Canada, from 1922 to 1939. Her letters home offer insights into Margaret herself, her life in Ireland and in Canada, and into the relationship between these two sisters.
All are welcome to the lecture.