One hundred years ago today Hanna Sheehy Skeffington was welcomed to San Francisco on her epic tour of the US. Everywhere she received the kind of welcome this newspaper article describes. “Hundreds of Irish men and women called at the hotel to pay their respects…” For sixteen months Hanna toured the US to fight for justice: to tell the Irish there how the British Army shot her innocent husband by firing squad, and to tell them the truth about the rest of the British atrocities in reaction to the Easter Rising. Her tour was an incredibly courageous thing to undertake, newly widowed and accompanied only by her young son, Owen, Micheline’s father.
Hanna’s example inspired Micheline to take her Equality Tribunal case, even though she had little hope of winning it. Then, when she did win, it was that courage which inspired Micheline to support the five other women by giving them her €70,000 award and then setting up this campaign. Now she will follow Hanna to the US and repeat parts of Hanna’s tour. She is doing it to honour Hanna and to try to get more recognition in Ireland today for what Hanna did in the US. But Micheline will also speak, both in her lectures and to the media, about her own fight for justice: against the gender discrimination practised by NUI Galway and their refusal to promote the five women.
Here is the program for the lecture Hanna gave the next day in San Francisco. 100 years ago tomorrow.