Commemorating Emily Wilding Davison

Emily Wilding Davis

A protest took place at lunch time on Tuesday 10th June outside the Dail to commemorate the suffragette Emily Wilding Davison, who was trampled to death in 1913 while trying to pin the suffragette colours to the King’s horse, racing in the Epsom Derby, in an attempt to get word to King George V that his female subjects demanded the vote.

Mary Ryan, whose brainchild this event was, decided an hour of civil disruption would aptly commemorate Emily Davison. The civil disruption was by way of continually pressing the button for the green man at the pedestrian crossing outside the Dail, thereby legally obstructing the traffic while getting the message out via placards. We got the odd beep from a horn or ding-a-ling from a bicycle bell in support. No one appeared to take umbrage.

There wasn’t much traffic, and, unfortunately, even less protestors; but for all that, it was a jovial protest. The core of the protest was Ailbhe Smyth, academic and feminist activist, Ryan and myself. We were joined by two brave male feminists who cheerfully took up placards and crossed back and forth with us, before returning to Cork and South Africa. We were then joined by Joan Collins TD and Anthea McTiernan of the Irish Times.

Photographers from the Irish Times, the Independent and a freelancer named Sam called out instructions to get the best photo, one of which made it into the Irish Times.

Pictured left to right: Ailbhe Smyth, Mary Ryan, Mary Caulfield and Joan Collins TD.

By Mary Caulfield