Women of the Rising: Journeys and Learnings

Bus Éireann and the Royal Irish Academy (RIA) have launched a collaborative, nationwide campaign to commemorate leading female participants in the 1916 Rising.

Women of the Rising: Journeys and Learnings

The campaign features a specially wrapped double decker commuter bus, and posters illustrating the stories of six women who featured prominently in the Easter Rising across 650 buses nationwide. Bus Éireann travel centres across the country – as well as bus bays, some bus shelters and Busaras in Dublin – will also feature billboards and a short digital video about the campaign.

The figures will be profiled on board buses in the regions they are most associated with, as follows:

  • Kathlynn Lynn: West of Ireland
  • Countess Marckievicz: Northwest
  • Helena Molony and Elizabeth O’Farrell: East
  • Mary Perolz: South and Southwest
  • Margaret Skinnider: Northeast

The 75 seater double decker commuter bus, featuring a wrap with all six women, will be used on the busy 103 Dublin to Ashbourne route from Beresford Place in Dublin city centre. The illustrations depicted on the specially commissioned wrap – which has been kindly sponsored by its4women.ie online insurance – were produced by artist David Rooney and feature in the Royal Irish Academy’s (RIA) 1916 Portraits and Lives project.

This campaign coincides with a new drive by Bus Éireann to hire more female apprentices in roles traditionally dominated by young males. The company has just commenced a national advertising campaign seeking to fill 14 places in a four year heavy mechanic apprenticeship programme, and it is seeking to attract female applications for the programme.

Partaking in today’s photocall were Bus Éireann Acting Inspector Michelle McClelland, Dr Jennifer Redmond, Lecturer in 20th Century Irish History, Gary McClarty, its4women.ie Managing Director, Rick Bell, Digital Marketing Executive at its4women.ie and model Olwen Jennings representing Kathleen Lynn, chief medical officer of the Irish Citizen Army.

RIA Managing Editor Ruth Hegarty said the collaboration was a great way for the public to learn more about the important role women played in the Easter Rising: “These women worked as snipers, cooks, couriers, secretaries, nurses and doctors during Easter Week. They all survived the Rising, and continued as teachers, doctors, actors and trade union activists. Their different life stories give a broader picture of the people who were involved in the Rising. The Academy has written 10,000 biographies of the people of Ireland in the Dictionary of Irish Biography, and I am thrilled to see these six lives highlighted on Bus Éireann’s national network.”

Women of the Rising

Gary McClarty, its4women.ie Managing Director, said the sponsorship was a perfect fit for its4women.ie for several reasons: “its4women’s ethos is steeped in supporting women across Ireland and elevating their achievements. Through our #TimeToOwnIt campaign we work to celebrate the accomplishments of all women and we are delighted to be able to partner with Bus Éireann as they recognise influential women from Irish history.”

Bus Éireann Media & PR Manager Nicola Cooke said that the use of a fleet of 650 buses for the Women of the Rising campaign posters, allowed it to achieve a major outreach:

“While the canvas of a 75 seater double deck commuter bus has a huge visual impact, the individual stories of these women will also be told on board our regional and rural services across Ireland, and via our website link. As a company we felt it was important to be involved in an initiative that shone on a light on individuals – who were lesser known – but whose major contributions and sacrifices, helped shape our nation 100 years ago.”

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