CITY HALL has recognised 100 years of women’s right to vote with a new portrait of the city’s first female Lord Mayor.
Jane Dowdall became the first woman elected to Cork Corporation in 1950 and succeeded her late husband by being elected to Seanad Éireann a year later.
In 1959, she was elected the first female Lord Mayor of Cork, one of only five to have held the position.
The portrait by Belfast-born artist Soirle MacCana, principal of the Cork School of Art from 1937 to 1967, shows Ms Dowdall in her mayoral robes.
Her grand-daughter, also Jane Dowdall, has donated the painting to City Hall and hopes it provides some inspiration to young women interested in politics.
“I was too young when she died in 1974 to remember my grandmother, but I’ve heard so many wonderful stories down the years. I know the portrait is going to the right place and I’d love if women who see it are inspired by her political and other achievements,” said Jane.
Lord Mayor Tony Fitzgerald thanked the relatives of Ms Dowdall and said the portrait was a welcome addition to City Hall.
“I am particularly delighted that we have been gifted this portrait in this year, when we are celebrating 100 years of the vote for women and the election of Countess Markievicz as the first Irish woman to government.”
To mark the 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote in Ireland, the 2018 Cork St Patrick’s Day Parade Grand Marshall will consist of a collective of female political representatives of Cork since the foundation of the state.
It will include a selection of current and former members of the Oireachtas and European Parliament, former Lords Mayor and current and former city councillors.
Deceased members will be represented by family members.