An article on Rosie Hackett and the naming of the Marlborough street bridge by Angelina Cox, Jeni Gartland, & Lisa Connell.
The bridges arching over the sleepy river Liffey project the memories of cherished historical and cultural figures; the Butt Bridge, named after the founder of the Home Rule movement in Ireland; the Grattan Bridge, named after Henry Grattan, an 18th century Irish politician, the Sean O’Casey Bridge, named after the enlightened dramatist, and the Fr. Mathew Bridge, named after Fr. Theobold Mathew, an teetotaller priest from the 18th century. Every bridge in Dublin city centre is named after an important historical or cultural figure and every bridge in Dublin city centre is named after a man.
The practice of naming streets, bridges and other landmarks after cherished historical and cultural figures is an important form of recognition for their contributions. Lamentably, however, women’s contributions to historic struggles for independence, the trade union movement, the arts and culture have not received elucidation in Dublin city’s landscape.
The Marlborough Street Bridge is presently under construction. The naming of this new bridge is a timely opportunity to redress the gender imbalance projected in the architecture and infrastructure of Dublin city centre
The job of christening the bridge falls to Dublin city council which has produced a shortlist of five names; including two women – Rosie Hackett and Kay Mills. Given the bridge is located near Liberty Hall, naming the bridge in memory of Rosie Hackett, who lived and worked in the area, seems most fitting.
Born in 1892, Rosie dedicated her life to the trade union movement and struggle for workers’ rights.