04/09/2014 Minister Humphreys launches Cumann na mBan exhibition in Mayo
The Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys TD, is this evening (Thursday) launching a new exhibition at the Jackie Clarke Collection in Ballina, Co Mayo commemorating the foundation of Cumann na mBan.
Speaking at the event Minister Humphreys said: ‘I am delighted to be here on my first visit to the Jackie Clarke Collection, which is a great example of what can be achieved at local level. I would like to commend the work of Niamh O’Sullivan, the author and historian who was commissioned by Mayo County Library and the local committee of the Decade of Centenaries to produce this work’.
“My predecessor, Jimmy Deenihan had taken steps to engage with Local Authorities on the programme for the Decade of Centenaries, including hosting a conference earlier this year and I am keen to expand on his initiatives. So it’s great to see Mayo County Council setting such a strong example with this exhibition, and the new CentenaryMayo website, which I launched earlier this evening.
“This exhibition focuses on the too-often overlooked role that women had to play in the Decade of Centenaries. It is impossible not to be inspired by the leadership and the determination of these women. I view the formation of Cumann na mBan as an absolutely vital step in the empowerment of women.
“Cumann na mBan showed that the women of Ireland were a force to be reckoned with in public life. It is important for us to look back and learn from their courage. Over the coming years we will explore together how Ireland was changed forever by the events of that decade from 1912 to 1922. I will work to commemorate all of these events from the different strands of Irish history in ways that are respectful, inclusive and appropriate.”