Painting of Elizabeth O’Farrell unveiled in Seanad

A painting was unveiled at the Seanad commemorating a woman, largely from Irish history, but at the center of one of the most important moments during the 1916 uprising.

Sister Elizabeth O’Farrell stood next to Pádraig Pearse when he surrendered.

He had chosen Elizabeth O’Farrell to deliver his message seeking negotiations to end hostilities at the end of Easter week.

A picture had been taken of them standing side by side during the handover to Brigadier General William Lowe.

From the angle at which it was taken, O’Farrell is barely visible except for her boots. In the following copies, Ms. O’Farrell is airbrushed entirely from the photo.

“She is remembered because she was forgotten”

Sister Elizabeth O’Farrell stood next to Pádraig Pearse when he surrendered in 1916. However, it was airbrushed from photos

Today “Her Surrender”, a painting that introduces the moment from a different angle, was unveiled in the Seanad @rtenews

– RTÉ Politics (@rtepolitics) March 8, 2021

‘Her Surrender’ was painted by Co Leitrim artist Sinéad Guckian. The painting re-imagines the moment from a different point of view.

Senator Mark Daly, Cathaoirleach of the Seanad, quoted Ms. Guckian, telling the House of Lords that Elizabeth O’Farrell “is being reminded that she has been forgotten”.

He expressed the hope that today’s actions “correct in very small ways the historical injustice of Elizabeth O’Farrell.”

The painting was unveiled in the Chamber by Seanad leader Regina Doherty on the occasion of International Women’s Day.

Senator Doherty thanked Sinéad Guckian and told the Seand that she believed Ms. Guckian had “done an absolutely beautiful job”.

Ms. Doherty said the task now is “to find a very suitable and convenient place to hang it in the halls of the Oireachtas”.

Mark Daly reminded the House that Ms. Doherty is the third female leader in the Seanad’s 99-year history.

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