Dublin born Dora Sigerson was a prolific writer, as well as a self taught painter and sculptor. She produced two novels and more than 20 collections of poetry. One of the most important figures of the Irish Literary Revival, Sigerson produced poetry known for its nationalist bent, and published such titles as The Tri-colour: Poems of the Irish Revolution, The Fairy Changeling, and Madge Linsey and Love of Ireland: Poems and Ballads. In 1895 Dora Sigerson married journalist Clement King Shorter, thereafter publishing under the name Dora Sigerson Shorter. With Clement Shorter she lived out her life in London; however, as per her wishes, her body was returned to Ireland for interment.
In addition to producing written work, Dora Sigerson was also a gifted sculptor. Sigerson designed the memorial to the rebel dead which stands at the center of her own monument, and bequeathed funds in her will for its erection. The white Carrera marble statue is evocative of the Pieta, the depiction of Christ lying dead across his mother Mary's lap, which stands in the Basilica in Rome. The female figure in Sigerson's statue is Mother Ireland and lying across her lap is one of Ireland's lost warriors. The uniform of the warrior figure is clearly that of a 1916 rebel, and his face bears a striking resemblance to that of Pádraig Pearse, perhaps the best known of the executed leaders of the 1916 Easter Rising.
A secret discovered within
The monument now stands just inside the front gates of Glasnevin Cemetery. As part of the renovation project at Glasnevin the decision was made to restore the memorial; it was in poor condition with weeds growing out of its roof.
|A very old, and unfortunately poor quality, photo of the tomb as it looked originally|
*Click on photos to view larger version
The Irish Times, September 2007
Eilís Ní Dhuibhne, Voices on the Wind, Women Poets of the Celtic Twilight, New Island Books, 1995.