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the time excluded women workers, Rosie still organised the women of Jacob’s Biscuit Factory to support the men who had withdrawn their labour to agitate for better working conditions.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.