Women’s Centre 2019 Bonnet Project

A selection of Bonnets made by women’s centre bonnet project exhibited in Waterford City Library Bonnet Project funded by WWETB
Pictured at Central Library, Lady Lane where historians Ann Fitzgerald and Andrew Kelly Presented Women at Work, 1860-1900 and which was launched by Catherine Drea and a Bonnet Project Presentation were a group of women who took part in the Bonnet Making Project with tutor Liz Heffernan(seated Left).Photo: John Power

Women on Walls

Women on Walls

NCCWN Chairwoman, Ann Fitzgerald, attended the launch of Women on Walls in the Royal College of Surgeons, Dublin on March 5th 2019.  This campaign aims to highlight women leaders through a series of commissioned portraits and create a lasting cultural legacy in Ireland.  Ann Fitzgerald, NCCWN Waterford Women’s Centre history group, was instrumental in highlighting the work and life of Dr Mary Strangman and in having a Civic Trust Blue Plaque erected to her in 2018.   Dr Strangman became Waterford’s first female councillor in 1912.  She was also the first female doctor in Waterford and worked tirelessly to combat tuberculosis, a principal killer disease in Ireland at that time.  Dr Strangman became the second woman to earn the fellowship of RCSI in 1902 and served on the executive committee of the Irishwomen’s Suffrage Federation from 1911 to 1917. iority4

Women’s History

Annual Photographic Exhibition

Launch of Exhibition 2018

This is an extensive body of work which is ongoing and continuously growing. It is the work of historians Ann Fitzgerald and Andy Kelly.   The collection represents Waterford women from all areas of life who contributed to Waterford Society. Many of the women had been excluded from written history and almost forgotton. The ongoing development of this work in recording Waterford women’s stories includes present day women.  It is exhibited annually for International Women’s Day. 

This years exhibition to be launched on Wednesday 6th March at 11am in Waterford Central Library, Lady Lane and will focus on ‘Women at Work’ from 1860s-1900s with a focus on the Waterford cockle women, who are being honoured on the 8th of March with a Civic Trust Blue Plaque. The exhibition will be in the library from Monday the 4th to the 30th of March. All welcome.

Women’s Centre Choir at Exhibition launch 2018

Women’s History Walk

Women’s History Walk of Waterford visits relevant sites throughout the city commemorating  Waterford women and men who contributed to women’s development and equality. 

This years Women’s History Walk will take place on Thursday 7th March, leaving from the Women’s Centre 74, Manor Street at 11am visiting significant sites throughout the city.

Women’s History Walk 2018

Pink Plaque Campaign

The Pink Plaque Campaign aims to increase the number of Waterford City Civic Trust Blue Plaques dedicated to women and acknowledge their contribution to our City. The Women’s Centre raises funds to sponsor and launch a blue plaque annually on International Women’s Day. As part of the campaign we also highlight the work of the women nominated.   

This year 2019 a Blue Plaque will be unveiled to the Waterford Cockle Women at Arundel Lane on Friday 8th March at 11am.

Looking forward to the launch of our latest Blue Plaque to the Cockle Women on the 8th March 2019
International Women’s Day 2018 at the unveiling of Blue Plaque were relatives of Dr.Mary Strangman with Mayor Of Waterford City & County Cllr.Pat Nugent.Photo: John Power
Blue Plaque to Rosamond Jacob unveiled on International Women’s Day 2016

Bonnet Project

The Women’s Centre ‘Bonnet Project’ links into the ‘Roses from the Heart’ international project, a memorial to the 25,566 women sentenced to transportation as convicts from the then British Isles to Australia and Tasmania (formerly named Van Diemen’s Land) between 1788 & 1853.  Some of those women and children were from Waterford.  The artist, Christina Henri chose a cloth bonnet, taken from an original 1860s servant’s bonnet, to symbolise the lives of these convict women whose stories were forgotten.  Christina believes that many of these impoverished women were transported simply for being vagrants and when given opportunities in Tasmania or Australia the women’s resilience and fortitude saw them flourish and contribute to the growth of the emerging nation.  The named bonnets made by the Women’s Centre are part of the Waterford Roses from the Hearth exhibition.

This year the Women’s Centre will exhibit 14 new bonnets in the Waterford City Council Library as part of the 2019 International Women’s Day exhibition, remembering the 304 Waterford Women who were transported.  The Bonnet Project facilitates the development of practical skills such as: hand and machine sewing, following a pattern, embroidery, design and decoration. Along with these practical skills and in keeping with community education principles it facilitated discussion and analysis on history, gender, class through uncovering the lives of the women the bonnets are made for.