Irish women in film: Margot Cullen, production designer and set decorator
Irish women in film: Margot Cullen, production designer and set decorator

Meg Walker

Britney’s family have done it again… will she ever really be free?
Britney’s family have done it again… will she ever really be free?

Sarah Finnan

Supper Club: Ed Smith’s Borough Market spiced butterflied mackerel
Supper Club: Ed Smith’s Borough Market spiced butterflied mackerel

Meg Walker

16 great prints and posters to add some life to your walls
16 great prints and posters to add some life to your walls

Megan Burns

Social Pictures: InterContinental Dublin Horse Show Ladies Day
Social Pictures: InterContinental Dublin Horse Show Ladies Day

Sarah Gill

Lunchtime Fashion Fix: Casual work outfits to elevate your current office attire
Lunchtime Fashion Fix: Casual work outfits to elevate your current office attire

Sarah Finnan

You won’t mind leaving your dishes on the counter with these surprisingly chic dish drainers
You won’t mind leaving your dishes on the counter with these surprisingly chic dish drainers

Lauren Heskin

Sick of the clutter? How to detox your wardrobe (and not regret it)
Sick of the clutter? How to detox your wardrobe (and not regret it)

Louise Slyth

If I knew then what I know now: Evelyn Moynihan, CEO of Kilkenny Group, on risk-taking
If I knew then what I know now: Evelyn Moynihan, CEO of Kilkenny Group, on...

Fiona Alston

August 09: Today’s top stories in 60 seconds
August 09: Today’s top stories in 60 seconds

Sarah Finnan

Image / Editorial

Katherine Zappone donates her wedding dress to the National Museum


By Grace McGettigan
17th Jan 2019
Katherine Zappone donates her wedding dress to the National Museum

Ireland’s minister for children and youth affairs, Katherine Zappone, has generously donated both her and her wife’s wedding dresses to the National Museum of Ireland. The dresses will be on display at Collins Barracks as a symbol of Irish history.

Katherine married the love of her life, Dr Ann Louise Gilligan, in January 2016. Despite being together for 35 years, and despite wanting to get married in Ireland sooner, the lack of marriage equality in this country meant their wedding was off the cards.

Marriage equality

The women were a constant force in the struggle for equal marriage rights; fighting hard for the Irish legal system to recognise their 2003 Canadian marriage. Their actions reignited a debate which eventually led to the establishment of civil partnership rights, and later the Marriage Equality referendum of 2015.

Related: FBI finds Judy Garland’s ruby slippers
13 years after they were stolen 

That year, Ireland made history; becoming the first state to legalise same-sex marriage by popular vote. Just two months after the referendum passed, Katherine and Ann Louise tied the knot in Dublin Castle.

Sadly, Ann Louise passed away in June 2017. She left a valuable legacy through her work in the area of adult education, particularly for disadvantaged women in Ireland.

Their wedding dresses

Since her passing, Katherine has kindly decided to donate their wedding dresses to the National Museum’s Contemporary Ireland Collection, which collects and preserves items of importance to our nation throughout the history of the Irish Republic to the present day.

Katherine Zappone via National Museum of IrelandPhoto: Katherine Zappone via National Museum of Ireland

In a statement, museum curator Brenda Malone said, “As the wedding dresses become part of the NMI collections, they represent Katherine and Ann Louise’s love and life together, and their personal struggle for equal recognition.

“In a wider sense, they also represent the Irish LGBTQ community’s struggle for equality, and the Irish nation’s story of social change. The NMI is committed to recording and preserving these stories.”

What’s more, museum director Lynn Scarff said, “The National Museum is actively collecting the history of Irish society and its recent developments in order to tell Ireland’s story into the future.

“We are honoured by Minister Zappone’s donation of her and her wife’s wedding dresses and what they represent. Through this gift and future collecting, the museum takes an important step forward in representing all members of Irish society.”

Admission to the National Museum of Ireland is free. For opening times, visit museum.ie.

Photo: WikiCommons