The third annual Countess Markievicz School took place on Saturday May 18th 2013 in Liberty Hall Theatre, a century after Countess Markievicz worked in the soup kitchen there during the Dublin Lockout. The day looked at the parallels between life in 1913 and 2013. Click on the links below to view the individual speeches...
Markievicz lecture 2013
Dr. Pauline Conroy
Pauline Conroy is a graduate in Social Science of University College Dublin and the London School of Economics. Her Fellowship with the European University Institute in Florence was devoted to women workers in the underground economy of Northern Italy. She has undertaken research and published on gender, equality and labour market issues with the Council of Europe, The International Labour Organisation and the European Commission. She spent three years travelling in the poorer parts of Europe as part of the European Third Anti Poverty Programme. Dr Conroy is currently a guest lecturer in social policy with University College Dublin, Trinity College Dublin, the Open Training College and the Limerick Institute of Technology.
Women & Poverty
Mary Murphy (NUIM)
Mary P. Murphy is a lecturer in Irish Politics and Society in the Department of Sociology, National University of Ireland Maynooth. She has research interests in gender and social security, globalisation and welfare states, the politics of redistribution and power and civil society. She has published widely, most recently Careless to Careful Activation: Making Activation Work for Women (Dublin NWCI 2012) andTowards the Second Republic: Irish Politics after the Celtic Tiger (with Peadar Kirby, Pluto Ireland, 2011). She is an active advocate for social justice and gender equality.
Oliver Williams, Twist soup kitchen, Galway
Oliver Williams is the founder of the Twist Soup Kitchens in Galway, Athlone, Roscommon, Sligo and Tuam. When he was 15 years old, Oliver left Galway in times similar to now in terms of recession and high unemployment. He went to England to seek his fortune but found himself on the streets alone and frightened. Oliver was lucky to find a place called Centrepoint in Soho where he received a hot meal, a bed and some good advice that paved the way for him to become a qualified mechanic then panel beater, then helicopter and aeroplane pilot. This experience gave him the inspiration to open up the first soup kitchen in Galway. The Twist outlets have been a total success and they are now feeding over 1,000 people every week without any government funding whatsoever, despite the adage that 'the greatness of a nation is measured by how well it treats the weakest members of its society'.Twist survives on the kindness and goodwill of the Irish people.
Clare Daly, TD
Clare Daly is a TD for the United Left Alliance in the constituency of Dublin North. Formerly a Student's Union President in NIHE and later DCU as well as a long standing SIPTU shop steward in Dublin Airport when she worked for Aer Lingus. Clare has a long track record as a campaigner for workers rights and the interests of the community. Along with Joan Collins and Mick Wallace she introduced the first legislation ever tabled seeking the legalisation of abortion in Ireland.
Living Conditions 1913-2013
Catríona Crowe (National Archives)
Catriona Crowe is Head of Special Projects at the National Archives of Ireland. She is manager of the Irish Census Online Project, which has placed the 1901 and 1911 censuses online over the last 5 years. She is editor of Dublin 1911, published by the Royal Irish Academy in late 2011. Catríona is Vice-President of the Irish Labour History Society and a former President of the Women’s History Association. She is Chairperson of the Irish Theatre Institute, contributes regularly to the broadcast and print media on cultural and historical matters and is a member of the Royal Irish Academy.
Graham Usher (Priory Hall spokesperson)
Graham Usher is a Chartered Certified Accountant (ACCA) and has worked in the Financial Services sector for 10 years. He and his wife are homeowners in Priory Hall and since the evacuation of the 256 residents from their homes in October 2011 Graham has been a member of the Priory Hall Residents Committee and spokesperson for the residents. Over the past 18 months Graham has been actively involved in lobbying and discussions with politicians, the local authority and other parties in order to try to find a solution to the problems at Priory Hall. He has been the main point of contact in dealing with the various media outlets covering the on-going saga at Priory Hall and of advocating the position of the residents.
Rita Fagan, St. Michael's Estate, Community Development Co-ordinator
Rita is from a working class family in the Liberties, Dublin. She went to the sewing factory at 14. Through the 14 years there she became active in the Trade Union Movement. She spent 11 years voluntary and 1 full time in Dublin Simon Community. From here she was sponsored to partake in the Community & Youth Work course in NUI Maynooth. On a placement from this course, Rita came to St. Michael's Estate. 25 years later she is still in this struggle with this grassroots community and is the director of the Family Resource Centre, Women’s Community Development Project. She has travelled widely and has been involved politically in issues affecting Central America and Cuba. For 9 years Rita led a protest outside the U.S. Embassy challenging U.S. foreign policy in the region. She is committed to the struggle of women at grassroots level who are very much on the margins and whose struggle on a daily basis is to survive structural poverty. Last but by no means least, she believes that the struggle for justice and freedom not only embodies pain but also joy through celebrating our lives and the outcome of the struggle.
Moving forward: Achieving Equality for Women?
Justine McCarthy, journalist, The Sunday Times
Justine is a columnist and journalist with The Sunday Times, an adjunct professor of journalism at the University of Limerick and author of two books, "Mary McAleesse: The Outsider" (an unauthorised biography) and "Deep Deception: Scandals in Irish Swimming", dealing with child sexual abuse in the sport. She previously worked as chief features writer with the Irish Independent, deputy editor of Village magazine and chief features writer with the Sunday Tribune. Justine has won awards for investigative, campaigning, public interest news and features journalism and currently holds the Columnist of the Year award from the National Newspapers of Ireland. She frequently contributes to radio and television news and current affairs programmes.
Niall Crowley, Equality Consultant
Niall Crowley is an independent equality expert. He was Chief Executive Officer of the Equality Authority for ten years from its establishment up to 2009. Prior to that, he worked in the community and voluntary sector with Pavee Point Traveller Centre and with the Community Workers Cooperative. He currently convenes Claiming Our Future. He is the author of two books: 'An Ambition for Equality' published in 2006 by Irish Academic Press and 'Empty Promises - Bringing the Equality Authority to heel' published in 2010 by A&A Farmar.
Ethel Buckley, SIPTU
Ethel Buckley is National Campaigns and Equality Organiser and Head of the Policy, Research Unit in SIPTU. She joined the labour movement in the mid-1990s while undertaking postgraduate work at NUI Cork. She was a union activist and shop steward for a number of years before choosing to work full-time for SIPTU. She worked in a variety of roles including collective bargaining, strategic research and organising before taking up her current national officer role heading up the union’s campaigning, equality and research functions. She is a strong advocate within the labour movement of the need to move away from the servicing model of trade unionism towards grassroots campaigning and organising. She is a feminist. She lives in Dublin with her partner and is the mother of three young children.