Path Breaking Women of NUI Galway: 1912-1922 and beyond

Runs from March 2017

The University is delighted to host an exhibition on the Path Breaking Women of NUI Galway in the Hardiman Building foyer, as part of a multidisciplinary project by researchers here. This exhibition features 12 women from diverse social, political and religious backgrounds, and their extraordinary - yet little known - contributions across the arts, sciences and public life.

Each one is a former faculty member or student who made a remarkable contribution to the university or wider society in the years before and after 1916, or subsequently in the first decades of Irish independence. The Path Breaking Women exhibition foregrounds in particular the campaigns for social reform that animated Ireland in the early 20th century, including struggles for suffrage and women’s access to education and professional employment, as well as later efforts for progressive social change and women's rights in modernising Ireland.

Exhibition Brochure

Click below to read about these extraordinary women:

The featured women are:

  • Ada English (1875-1944)
  • Alice Perry (1885-1969)
  • Mary Donovan O’Sullivan (1887-1966)
  • Emily Anderson (1891-1962)
  • Síle Ní Chinnéide (1901-1980)
  • Máirin de Valéra (1912-1984)
  • Margaret Heavey (1908-1980)
  • Celia Lynch (nee Quinn) (1908-1989)
  • Lorna Reynolds (1911-2003) 
  • Maureen O'Carroll (nee McHugh) (1913-1984)
  • Nora Niland (1913-1988)
  • Caitlín Maude (1941-1982)

Exhibition Details


From March 2017


Hardiman Building foyer


Professor Niamh Reilly (Principal Investigator), School of Political Science and Sociology, NUI Galway


Mary Clancy, Centre for Global Women’s Studies, and Dr Muireann O’Cinneide, English, NUI Galway 


Irish Research Council New Foundations Scheme 2016; School of Political Science and Sociology, NUI Galway; Moore Institute, NUI Galway


Centre for Global Women’s Studies; Gender ARC; University Women’s Network
  1. Alice Jacqueline Perry circa 1906, reproduced by kind permission of Special Collections, NUI Galway
  2. Celia Lynch circa 1930, reproduced by kind permission of the family of Celia Lynch
  3. Margaret Heavey circa 1938, reproduced by kind permission of the editors of Bliainiris
  4. Síle Ní Chinnéide circa 1950, reproduced by kind permission of NUI Galway Archives
  5. Máirín De Valera circa 1956, reproduced by kind permission of UCD-OFM partnership
  6. Nora Niland circa 1963, reproduced by kind permission of the Sligo County Libraries
  7. Lorna Reynolds circa 1990, reproduced by kind permission of family of Lorna Reynolds


From the Media

RTÉ One's Building Ireland series featured Alice Perry in its programme on Galway city's engineering feats.

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