We started and ended our trip in Dublin, Ireland. We had lots of free time during our stay in this city. If you know me at all, you know I went to some bookstores (click here to read about one of my favorites) and a few great eateries. I also went with a group to see Trinity College, specifically the Book of Kells and the Long Library (which does cost but has a student discount available) as well as their science gallery (which is free to the public). Two people who were with my student group actually walked across all of the bridges over the River Liffey. One such bridge is the Rosie Hackett bridge.
Rosie Hackett was born in Dublin 1892 in a tenement building; after her father’s death, her mother remarried in 1911 and they moved to Abbey Street with her sister, new stepfather, stepsister, and a lodger. “In August 1911 at 18 years old Rosie became active in organising the 3000 strong women workforce working in the factory. They were successful in obtaining better working conditions and an increase in pay through withdrawal of their labour. In 1909 the Irish Transport and General Workers Union was founded two weeks after the famous Jacobs strike. Rosie co founded the Irish Women Workers Union (IWWU), along with Delia Larkin. In 1913 [during] the Dublin Lockout, she helped to organise the women in Jacobs to strike in solidarity” (Old Dublin Town). Hackett was also very involved in the Easter Rising of 1916. Rosie helped print the original 1916 proclamation and even handed it to James Connolly when “it was wet off the press. She later recounted how the men with Connolly on that occasion complained that a woman had been let into the room.” (Old Dublin Town). Hackett was also “with Constance Markievicz and Michael Mallon when they occupied the Royal College of Surgeons Stephen’s Green during the Easter Rising. She was captured and brought to Kilmainham Jail were she was held for ten days and then freed on general release” (Old Dublin Town). Rosie passed away at age 86, in 1976.
In February 2012, the building of a bridge began, and in April 2013, the Dublin City Council was receiving the last submissions for naming the bridge. “When Dublin City Council gave citizens a voice in naming the new Liffey bridge, Rosie’s cause was fittingly championed by three Labour Youth members: Angelina Cox, Jeni Gartland and Lisa Connell. Following a full Council vote in September 2013, Rosie’s name was chosen from the final set of five which also included Kay Mills, Willie Bermingham, Bram Stoker and Frank Duff” (Bridges of Dublin) . This is the 2nd of the 23 bridges over the Liffey to be named after a woman. The bridge was opened to the public in 2014. In terms of design, “the bridge is an elegant single span concrete structure spanning 47 metres and is 26 metres wide. […] The pedestrian walk-ways are wide, and the bridge is gently sloping to facilitate easy crossing for all, including those in wheelchairs and with children’s buggies” (Bridges of Dublin). The bridge is located right across the street from the Sheehan Memorial, and according to the “Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Leo Varadkar said: ‘The new bridge is unique in that it is the only one in Dublin built exclusively for the use of public transport, pedestrians and cyclists.’” (Bridges of Dublin).
Old Dublin Town. “What’s the Racket about Rosie Hackett?”. Old Dublin Town. https://www.olddublintown.com/rosie-hackett-bridge.html
Bridges of Dublin. “Rosie Hackett Bridge”. Bridges of Dublin. http://www.bridgesofdublin.ie/bridges/rosie-hackett-bridge/whats-in-a-name#skip-to-content