Forgetting and Remembering - Uncovering Women’s Histories at Richmond Barracks: A Public History Project

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McAuliffe, Mary
Gillis, Liz
NiChleirigh, Eadaoin
Almqvist, Marja
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Richmond Barracks was, in 2015, designated one of the seven major restoration and/or commemorative projects to be funded by the Irish State. The Barracks, with its fascinating yet little remembered military, social and political history, was to be, in 2016, centre stage in the centenary commemorations of the 1916 Easter Rising. One major aspect of the 1916 ‘hidden history’ of the Barracks was the arrest and imprisonment of seventy seven female insurgents immediately after the surrender. Using these seventy seven women as a lens to understand the lives, activism, motivations and contributions of women to the 1916 Rising, a project of remembering, which combined historical and creative elements, was undertaken. In this article the impact of the project on the commemoration of women in 2016 and how their legacies were interpreted through historical research in a landmark publication, We were There: 77 women of the Easter Rising and by contemporary women activists through the Quilt project is detailed. Author keywords: Ireland--History--Easter Rising, 1916; Feminism; Socialism; Commemoration; Memory