Project Foreword: Patricia Burke Brogan

The Arts of Poetry, Drama, Music and Visual Art make eclipsed stories visible.

Images of the executions of the Signatories of the Proclamation in Kilmainham Gaol resulted in a worldwide awareness of the unjust occupation by Britain of Ireland. An image which shows that women were not treated equally is that photograph of Padraig Pearse as he gives the letter of surrender to General Lowe. Nurse Elizabeth O’Farrell, member of Cumann na mBan, who had risked her life on the bloodstained streets of Dublin and stands beside Pearse, is airbrushed from the image except for one of her boots.

My poem, Make Visible the Tree, and my award winning stage play, Eclipsed, resulted in the limestone sculpture of a Magdalen mother on the site of the Galway Laundry, and in documentaries, collected works, films, James M. Smith’s Ireland’s Magdalene Laundries and the Nation’s Architecture of Containment and worldwide newspaper articles about the Magdalen Laundries.

These histories are part of Irish history, and belong to narratives of state formation, politics, and human rights in Ireland.


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