The invasion of Leinster House (via the male jacks)

Research for an article I’m writing on Catholicism and Irish Law. Equal parts tragic and comic.

Come Here To Me!

The Irish Independent, April 1st 1971.

On March 31st 1971, a small protest by activists from the Irish Women’s Liberation Movement grabbed nationwide media attention. Angered by the decision of the Seanad not to allow a reading for Senator Mary Robinson’s Contraceptive Bill which could have led to the legalisation of contraception, fifteen women who were accompanied by children made their way to the gates of Leinster House, forcing their way into the grounds. Shortly after 3pm, the women made their way through the Merrion Street gates, before a few of them snuck into the building through the open window of the male bathrooms!

Among the women who partook in the protest were the journalist Mary Kenny, Sinn Féin secretary Mairin de Burca and Margaret Gaj. Gaj was a fascinating character, born in Glasgow to Irish parents in the year 1919, she was a veteran of the women’s movement and…

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