Updated: 07/02/18 : 05:08:12
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Markievicz statue should be moved in Dublin

By Eugene McGloin
Political Editor

THE STATUE of Madame Markievicz in Dublin should be moved to a prime site in O’Connell Street beside that of James Larkin.

That was the call from city TD Joan Collins, speaking in the Dáil last night, Tuesday.

Collins spoke during a special Dáil session to mark the centenary of women being given the right to vote in elections.

The Markievicz statue in question is currently located in Townsend Street on Dublin’s southside.

“I propose,” said Deputy Collins, “that it be brought into O'Connell Street where she played an active part during 1913.”

In O’Connell Street it should be “placed on a pedestal beside James Larkin,” said Deputy Collins.

Regional Venues

Earlier yesterday the programme of events to mark achievement of the suffragette movement and Markievicz’s election was announced.

This will include a tour later in 2018 to include regional venues, confirmed Minister Madigan.

Events during the year ahead will also include exhibitions, celebrations, hedge schools, talks, stamps and seminars.

In her own Dáil tribute last night to Madame Markievicz, the Minister recalled how the UK Prime Minister didn’t even recognize that a woman had been elected.

Short, Formal

That brief correspondence from the UK Prime Minister David Lloyd George to  Madame Markievicz is include in the programme booklet for the centenary.

“Earlier today, said Minister Josepha Madigan, “I launched the Government's programme to commemorate the centenary of the introduction of voting rights for women in parliamentary elections. 

“The programme booklet reprints a remarkable piece of correspondence from Prime Minister Lloyd George to Countess Markievicz, which is now in the collection of the National Museum of Ireland. 

“The letter is a short, formal, three-sentence invitation to Countess Markievicz to attend the reopening of Parliament at Westminster. 

“It addresses the new MP as “Sir.” The envelope has the original postal address of Dublin St. Patrick’s, the constituency to which Countess Markievicz was elected.

“But,” added Minister Madigan, “It is overwritten and redirected to Holloway Prison in London.

Seismic Changes

“In those two small details we can detect the seismic changes in the political landscape of our world 100 years ago.

“A system which had just opened its doors to women’s participation in political life but could not quite believe that the MP for Dublin St. Patrick’s was not “Sir” but “Madam.”

“And that the self-same madam, instead of taking a seat in His Majesty’s Parliament, was incarcerated in His Majesty’s Prison Holloway as a result of her political activities in seeking an independent Irish republic.

“Those two joint but separate campaigns - the struggle for Irish freedom and the struggle for women’s political rights - were core to Countess Markievicz’s work,” said Minister Madigan.

The Representation of the People Act 1918, enacted on this very day 100 years ago, gave some women aged over 30 and all men over the age of 21 the right to vote for the first time.

Eight TDs, all female, contributed to last night’s special Dail session.

They were Minister Madigan and TDs Niamh Smyth, Louise O’Reilly, Joan Burton, Ruth Coppinger, Joan Collins, Catherine Murphy and Catherine Martin. 

See link for all speeches at “Centenary for Women’s Suffrage: Statements.”

Link: http://oireachtasdebates.oireachtas.ie/debates%20authoring/debateswebpack.nsf/takes/dail2018020600001?opendocument