Preaching The Suffrage Gospel In County Wicklow: A Local Perspective On The Women’s Suffrage Campaign 1908-1918 talk by Rosemary Raughter
Rosemary will examine the most eventful phase of the women’s suffrage movement in Ireland as it related to Co Wicklow. After decades of dogged but relatively low-key activity, the ‘votes for women’ campaign intensified sharply from 1908. While activity, both constitutional and militant, was concentrated mainly in larger urban areas, Wicklow’s proximity to Dublin as well as the existence of a body of support within the county made it a favoured focus for suffrage agitation.
These years saw visits from leading campaigners like Hanna Sheehy Skeffington, Margaret Cousins, Louie Bennett and Charlotte Despard, to centres such as Bray, Greystones, Wicklow, Arklow, Baltinglass, Dunlavin and Kilcoole. Reports in the suffrage press and in local newspapers record drawing-room and outdoor meetings, dramatic presentations, garden parties, debates, and even the very occasional act of militancy, as well as the heckling and hooliganism with which speakers routinely had to contend. While the outbreak of war in 1914 and the rise of nationalist feeling after 1916 tended to overshadow the suffrage campaign, 1918 saw the achievement, in part at least, of suffragists’ primary aim, and in conclusion we will look at the 1918 general election as it involved and affected women in Wicklow.
This talk will take place at Wicklow Library, in the Exhibition Space on the third floor. To book your place contact Wicklow Library on 040467025 or email Wicklowlocalstudies@wicklowcoco.ie
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