This year marks 100 years since women were first allowed to cast a vote at the ballot box in Ireland, after a long campaign by women including Hannah Sheehy-Skeffington.
It is a concept that must seem alien today, but at the same time it is not that long ago in our country’s history.
And even though women in Ireland were granted the right to vote on February 6, 1918, there were still constraints in place – in order to be eligible they had to be over 30, and have either property rights or a university education.
Author Jean Cross will give a series of talks at Castlebar Library about the suffrage movement in Ireland, and some of the main characters involved. The first talk will take place at 7pm on Wednesday, March 21. The talk, entitled It Didn’t Come From Nowhere, will examine the origins of the suffrage movement and the issues that prompted 19th century women to engage in a public debate with politicians.
On Wednesday, March 28, also at 7pm, a talk entitled Here Come the Suffragettes – The Militant Movement, will look at why the suffragette movement tactics changed, the firebrands involved, the Government's response, and the effect on Home Rule and women in the labour movement.
The final talk takes place at 7pm on Wednesday, April 4, and will discuss The Price of Victory and take in the impact of World War I, suffrage, and the Irish republican movement, while also examining what exactly constituted a woman’s place in the new Irish Government.
Running concurrently with the talks is an exhibition on women and suffrage in Ireland, which promises to be very engaging and informative. The exhibition can be accessed during library opening hours. Admission is free – to both the exhibition and the talks – and all are welcome. For more information call Castlebar Library on (094 ) 9047936 or check out the library’s Facebook page @mayocountylibrary.