Her Keys to the City
Honouring the Women who made Dublin
Alison Gilliland and Clodagh Finn
Just four women were among the 83 people given the Freedom of the City of Dublin since the award was inaugurated in 1876 to June 2022. The genesis of this book lies in wanting, in some way, to address this very obvious gender imbalance and to showcase a variety of the very many accomplished women who lived before us. Collectively, these women were central to major social and political changes in our country’s history, excelled across diverse disciplines and realised major achievements in many different fields. Each left us with an important legacy and were influential role models. You may be familiar with some of the names but others are not well known outside their immediate circle. You’ll meet some very interesting women as you read through this book – a book that gives them all the keys of acknowledgement to our city.
Lord Mayor Alison Gilliland was elected the 353rd, and only the 10th female, Lord Mayor of Dublin on 28th June 2021. One of her priorities as Lord Mayor was the promotion of women and in particular to acknowledge the achievements of women who contributed so much to the city but were not recognised in their day.
Clodagh Finn is a journalist and author of Through Her Eyes: a new history of Ireland in 21 women and A Time to Risk All, a biography of Mary Elmes, the ‘Irish Oskar Schindler’. She is an Irish Examiner columnist and is particularly interested in writing about overlooked women from history.