Plaque for Dublin woman who shot Mussolini

by Gazette Reporter

A PLAQUE commemorating the Irish woman who came within inches of killing Benito Mussolini has been approved by Dublin City Council.

The memorial to Violet Gibson is set to be erected at her childhood home at 12 Merrion Square.

One of the bullets fired in the asassination bid on April 7, 1926 – when she was aged 50 – grazed the Italian leader’s nose.

Gibson came from a privileged Anglo-Irish background, and had been a debutante in the court of Queen Victoria.

She was sent back to England after the shooting, and spent the rest of her life in St Andrew’s Hospital, a mental asylum in Northampton, until her death in 1956.

Cllr Mannix Flynn (Ind) proposed the motion, which was unanimously passed by DCC’s Commemoration and Naming Committee.

His motion stated the “committed anti-fascist” should be brought into “the public’s eye and given her rightful place in the history of Irish women and in the rich history of the Irish nation and its people”.

“It suited both the British authorities and her family to have her seen as ‘insane’ rather than as political,” the motion added.

Cllr Flynn said the vote had been “an emotional moment” and that he remembered “speaking to my mother about poor Violet Gibson when I was a child”.

Mussolini’s National Fascist Party came to power in Italy in the aftermath of World War One, backed by armed groups known as blackshirts who intimidated opponents.

He adopted some of Hitler’s policies and was executed after his capture by Italian partisans in 1945, while attempting to flee the Allied advance.

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