1955 – Grace Gifford Plunkett, Irish patriot, dies.

She was one of the widows of 1916 – if not THE widow – a catalyst and tragic woman who remained a symbol of Irish freedom and a fighter for it long after her husband was executed. Grace Gifford Plunkett was an amazing woman, and one of my heroes.


Stair na hÉireann | History of Ireland

Grace Vandeleur Plunkett, née Gifford was a cartoonist, caricaturist and illustrator who was active in the Republican movement. Her marriage to Joseph Plunkett, one of the leaders of the 1916 Rising, a few hours before he was executed, is the subject of a popular Republican song, “Grace”, written by Frank and Sean O’Meara in 1985.

She was born in the Dublin suburb of Rathmines, the second youngest of twelve children of Frederick, a Catholic, and Isabella, a Protestant, and a niece of the artist Sir Frederick Burton. The boys were brought up as Catholics, the girls as Protestants. From the age of 16 in 1904 she studied at the Dublin Metropolitan School of Art under William Orpen, where her talent for caricature was discovered. In 1907 she studied fine art at the Slade School of Art in London.

She returned to Dublin in 1908 and struggled to make a living…

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