Micheline’s US tour is underway! She set sail on Thursday, following her grandmother, Hanna Sheehy Skeffington, to the United States. Hanna sailed from Glasgow with her young son, Owen, Micheline’s father, using false passports. She kept to her cabin for the crossing, fearing recognition, as the British government had banned her from travelling. Micheline departed from Southampton on the only available crossing this month — aboard the Queen Mary II — and she’s making the most of it. She tells us it’s been blue skies so far, with dolphins following the ship.
Micheline is travelling with Joanna McMinn, who helped arrange her tour. They arrive in
New York soon after dawn on 7th September where Eddie Mullarkey will be stationed to film them disembark. They have a hectic schedule for the first ten days, which Eddie will be filming: Ellis Island, Carnegie Hall, the New York hotel Hanna stayed in, the home of anarchist/feminist Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, interviews with historians and curators as well as the lectures and media interviews Micheline will be giving. They will travel by train, again as Hanna did, from New York via Connecticut, where Micheline is to give another lecture, to Boston where she will give at least three lectures.
Micheline is determined that every lecture and interview in the US will reference her ongoing fight against NUI Galway for the promotion of the five women, who, like her, were shortlisted but not promoted in 2009. The women still have not been promoted as they were out of time to take an Equality Tribunal case as she did. She expects extensive media coverage and has already undertaken more than 10 radio and newspaper interviews with journalists interviewing from the States before she arrives. Here is one of the articles in the Chicago Sun Times.
The proposed film of the tour “Hanna and Me: Passing on the Flame” now has a producer, Margo Harkin, and director, Sé Merry Doyle, who made an excellent documentary on the feminist doctor Kathleen Lynn. Joanna’s crowd funding eventually raised €24,000, enough to film everything they want to of Micheline’s tour. They are now hoping to help fund the next stage: Micheline will be encouraging her US audiences to donate to the cost of editing the footage and paying a researcher to assemble archive material of Hanna’s original tour. You can also contribute, if you’d like — Joanna has adapted her crowd funding site so that it can continue and raise the further €20,000 needed.
The eventual film will also reference the gender equality campaign against NUI Galway and include footage from our demos for the five women. The bad publicity for NUI Galway will continue to mount until they give in and promoted them. We hear that the next High Court hearing for the women’s cases against NUI Galway is now unlikely to happen before the end of this year. So when Micheline returns on 22nd November she’ll be in time to support us in making sure the next hearing gets the same large amount of publicity the last one did.