File photo by Caroline McNally

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“It is now time to bring Violet Gibson into the public’s eye and give her rightful place in the history of Irish women,” said independent Councillor Mannix Flynn’s motion to the South East Area Committee on Monday.

She needs a plaque, his motion said. Councillors on the committee agreed.

Gibson was born in 1876 and raised in Merrion Square, the motion says.

She tried to assassinate the fascist leader Benito Mussolini in Rome in 1926. One of her shots wounded Mussolini’s nose.

She was deported from Italy to England, where she was committed to St Andrew’s Hospital in Northampton, an asylum. She spent the rest of her life there and died in 1956.

“It suited both the British authorities and her family to have her seen as ‘insane’ rather than as political,” Flynn’s motion said.

The next step in the plan is to make a formal application to the Dublin City Council Commemoration Committee, Flynn said, by phone on Tuesday.

A formal application needs to detail what the person did, show consent from the family, and consent from the building of where the planned plaque will be erected, Flynn said.

He’s contacting the family, he says. “I think that it would be seriously appropriate that Violet Gibson would be commemorated in such a way.”

Donal Corrigan

Donal Corrigan is a city reporter for Dublin Inquirer. He covers transport, and the southside. To get in contact with him, you can email him on

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