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Irish Women’s Prison Writing: Mother Ireland’s Rebels, 1960s-2010s

10th January – 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

£4.00 – £6.50

Irish Women’s Prison Writing: Mother Ireland’s Rebels, 1960s-2010s explores 50 years of Irish women’s prison writing, connecting the work of women leaders and writers. The book, which reflects on the struggles of that era, encompasses the personal correspondence, auto/biographical narratives, and poetry of the women including Bernadette McAliskey, Eileen Hickey, Mairéad Farrell, Síle Darragh, Ella O’Dwyer, Martina Anderson, Dolours Price, Marian McGlinchey (formerly Marian Price), Áine and Eibhlín Nic Giolla Easpaig (Ann and Eileen Gillespie), Roseleen Walsh, and Margaretta D’Arcy. Join us for an insightful conversation with Professor Red Washburn, writer Roseleen Walsh, scholar Eilish Rooney, and PhD candidate Susie Deedigan.

About Red Washburn

Red Washburn (they/he) is Professor of English and Women’s and Gender Studies at Queens College of the City University of New York. They are Affiliate Faculty in Women’s and Gender Studies at the Graduate Center (CUNY). His book Irish Women’s Prison Writing: Mother Ireland’s Rebels, 1960s-2010s was published by Routledge. Red’s articles appear in Journal for the Study of Radicalism, Women’s Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal, and Journal of Lesbian Studies. Their essays are in several anthologies, including Theory and Praxis: Women’s and Gender Studies at Community Colleges, Introduction to Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies: Interdisciplinary and Intersectional Approaches, and Trans Bodies, Trans Selves: A Resource for the Transgender Community. They are the co-editor of Sinister Wisdom’s Dump Trump: Legacies of Resistance, 45 Years: A Tribute to Lesbian Herstory Archives, and Trans/Feminisms. Finishing Line Press published their poetry collections Crestview Tree Woman and Birch Philosopher X. They co-edited WSQ’s issue Nonbinary (forthcoming Fall 2023). He received an ACLS/ Mellon fellowship for their next project Nonbinary: Tr@ns-Forming Gender and Genre in Nonbin@ry Literature, Performance, and Visual Art.

About Roseleen Walsh

Roseleen Walsh was born in 1950. Her literary journey began in Armagh Prison, where she was interned for 13 months and 2 weeks, 1973-4. She began writing poetry on her cell walls and ceiling.  At home now more than 50 years later, two of her living room walls also are covered in her poetry.  She is the author of a poetry collection, Poems and Monologues and short stories, Face to Face. She has written approximately 40 plays, 37 of which were produced in Belfast, Derry, Armagh and Dublin by Commedagh Productions and Irish Youth Theatre. Political Drama, which features 23 political plays, is available in universities and libraries across the United States. She is currently writing a book, My Internment, about her prison experience.

About Eilish Rooney

Eilish Rooney is an Emeritus Scholar in the School of Applied & Social Policy Sciences and at the Transitional Justice Institute (TJI) in the School of Law. Eilish’s research interests are in the areas of feminist intersectionality theory; women’s lives in conflict; grassroots activism in post-conflict transition and conflict transformation.

She was educated at St Rose’s Secondary School, Belfast, and returned to formal education as a mature student at Queen’s University in 1975. Her undergraduate degree in English Literature led to postgraduate studies in Jacobean Drama, 1989. From the post of culture and politics tutor at the Ulster People’s College, Belfast, she joined Ulster University as a lecturer in community studies from 1985 – 2018. She joined the Transitional Justice Institute in 2006. Her research and impact contribution was included in Ulster’s law submission 2014 when TJI’s research impact was rated 4* (world-leading) and ranked first for research impact across UK Law units.

In partnership with the Ashton Trust’s Bridge of Hope, she developed the TJI’s Transitional Justice Grassroots Toolkit programme and authored the programme’s toolkit, guide and training manual. Other publications include: Justice Dialogue for Grassroots Transition, Policy & Practice: A Development Education Review, 2018; International Journal of Transitional Justice Special Issue: Transitional Justice from the Margins: Intersections of Identities, Power and Human Rights, Oxford, 2018, edited with Fionnuala Ní Aoláin; Intersectionality – working in conflict, The Oxford Handbook of Gender and Conflict, Oxford University Press, 2018.

She is the Transitional Justice Institute representative on the Women Peace and Humanitarian Fund and an intersectionality expert group member of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia.

About Susie Deedigan

Susie Deedigan is a final year PhD candidate at Queen’s University Belfast. She previously studied for a BA at Balliol College Oxford, an MPhil at Trinity College Dublin and recently completed a Visiting Student Research Fellowship at the University of California, Berkeley. Her doctoral project is the first comprehensive study of female political imprisonment and state responses to female subversion in Ireland during the Second World War, or Emergency. She is more broadly interested in women’s and gender history with a particular focus on activism, labour and associational culture and histories of imprisonment and institutions. She is currently teaching twentieth century Irish history at QUB and working in the McClay Library’s Special Collections and Archives department, digitising and cataloguing twentieth century political collections. She is a member of the Executive Committee of the Women’s History Association of Ireland.


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10th January
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
£4.00 – £6.50
Event Category:


The Linen Hall
+44 (0)28 9032 1707
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Linen Hall Library
17 Donegall Square North
Belfast, BT1 5GB United Kingdom
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Booking is essential for all events including free events. All event tickets are non-refundable. Please view our Customer Service Policy.