Due to popular demand, and to coincide with Nollaig na mBan, ‘Blazing a Trail: Lives and Legacies of Irish Diaspora Women’ will return from 4 – 18 January 2019 at EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum. The exhibition celebrates the lives and legacies of 21 pioneering Irish diaspora women of the 19th and 20th centuries who blazed a trail in a wide range of fields. The exhibition is a collaboration between EPIC, Herstory and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
In 2018 we celebrated the centenary of the enfranchisement of 8.4 million women aged 30 and above across Britain and Ireland, and the election of Constance Markievicz, the first woman MP. From its inception in the 1860s, the movement for equality was a global one. It was fought not only by suffragettes, but also by many pioneering Irish women around the globe who made long-lasting contributions to their host societies. This exhibition tells the stories of Irish women in all corners of the world who blazed a trail in many fields: politics, sport, education, medicine, literature, the arts, the sciences and humanitarian work.
Some of the Irish women featured in ‘Blazing a Trail’ include designer and architect Eileen Gray; computer programming pioneer Kay McNulty; poet, mystic and trade unionist Eva Gore-Booth; tennis champion Mabel Cahill; medical missionary Sr Dr Maura Lynch; and ‘most dangerous woman in America’ Mother Jones. As part of the exhibition, Hungarian artist Szabolcs Kariko has created original portraits of several of the women.
Minister of State for the Diaspora and International Development Ciarán Cannon, says: “The Blazing a Trail exhibition is a timely celebration of the achievements of Irish women in the fields of arts, sciences, sport and humanitarian work worldwide. The twenty one women featured in the exhibition led extraordinary lives, yet they are only a small sample of the many outstanding Irish women who made significant contributions both at home and abroad. This exhibition is a fantastic way of honouring and celebrating those women.”
Emigration offered many women access to education, careers and other opportunities that may not have been available in Ireland. These women made their mark across the globe, innovating in every field and paving the way for others to follow, navigating a male-dominated society on their own terms.
‘Blazing a Trail’ is free and open to the public at EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum in The CHQ Building, Dublin from 4–18 January 2019, 9.30am-5.30pm. The exhibition will then travel to Irish embassies around the world over the coming years.