Friday Hoyden: Rosie Hackett

This month, Dublin City Council voted to name the new bridge over the river Liffey “Rosie Hackett Bridge”.

This was in response to a huge campaign from Dubliners, mostly women, who felt Rosie was due a decent and long-lasting public memorial. All of the 16 previously existing bridges in the city are named after men.

Rosie Hackett was a pioneering trade unionist who co-founded the Irish Women Workers’ Union (IWWU) in 1911. Even though the IWWU was created because other trade unions of the time excluded women workers, Rosie still organised the women of Jacob’s Biscuit Factory to support the men who had withdrawn their labour to agitate for better working conditions. She was only 18 when she took a leadership role in the action, though it cost her her job. She then re-trained as a printer, and was one of those responsible for the first printing of the 1916 proclamation. In 1970 she received a gold medal in recognition of her 60 years’ service to the Irish trade union movement. She died in 1976.

Please go and read this great profile of Rosie’s life and work, by Angelina Cox.


B&W group of 20-something Irish women in early 20th century with a banner saying "Irish Women Workers Union" & chalkboard reading "Freedom Martyrs".

Rosie among the Irish Women Workers Union

Categories: gender & feminism, history, social justice, work and family

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3 replies

  1. A worthy Hoyden indeed!

    • Seconded!
      It’s such a simple but powerful thing, to have a piece of major city infrastructure named after a woman for a change. Much like the campaign in the UK to have a woman other than the Queen on the currency, these memorials and portraits on things we see every day are symbolic of a more inclusive history of notable achievements, and that is exactly why such symbols are so important.

  2. I am flabbergasted that there was such a backlash to getting a woman, apart from the Queen, on a banknote. Rosie Hackett sounds like an amazing woman and there are no doubt many more hiding in the mists of history whose accomplishments could be highlighted by naming infrastructure after them.

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