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Virtual Tour: Bonnets, Bandoliers and Ballot Papers

Join Museum Guide Sheila Robinson for an engaging, informative and thought-provoking examination of the changing roles of women at the beginning of the 20th Century 

This Virtual Tour is designed for Post-Primary students of History, Politics and Society and CSPE. In this tour, Sheila will talk to Museum curators, educators and historians about political protest in Ireland, as well as campaigns for social changes within society. It also examines campaigns and protests of women through domestic life, war and rebellion. This tour explores key artefacts from the Museum’s collection, which tells the story of women during this period, including ‘On War Service’ badges, an ‘Irish Womens Franchise League’ banner and examples of Celtic Revival clothing.

Watch Bonnets, Bandoliers and Ballot Papers here


Activity at a Glance

Level: Junior Cycle, Transition Year, Senior Cycle
Format: Film
Group Size: Any
Location: Classroom Activity
Duration: 45 minutes
Availability: This Virtual Tour can be watched above, downloaded from the link above or accessed from the National Museum of Ireland's YouTube page. The Teachers' Notes will be accessible from the link at the bottom of the page shortly

Curriculum Links

Junior Cycle
  • Development of Historical Consciousness
  • Working with Evidence
  • Acquiring the “big picture”
  • The History of Ireland
Senior Cycle:
  • Working with Evidence
  • Movements for political and social reform, 1870-1914
  • The pursuit of sovereignty and the impact of partition, 1912-1914
Other Curriculum links Include
  • Visual Art (posters, banners, postcards)
  • English (letters, letter writing)

Learning Outcomes

  • To learn about what life was like for many women in Ireland in the late 1800s, and the efforts that were made, both peacefully and violently, to change this
  • To develop an understanding of the roles that women played during the Revolutionary period in Ireland – including the First World War, 1916 Easter Rising and the War of Independence
  • To learn about some of the key individuals during this period and understand the choices they were faced it
  • To gain an appreciation for material culture and its importance in our understanding and interpretation of history

Pre-Visit Resources

‘Proclaiming a Republic: The 1916 Rising’ Virtual Tour

Pop Up Talks. Proclaiming a Republic: The 1916 Rising.
The Irish Wars Factsheets: 1919 – 1923

Teachers Notes

A set of Teacher’s Notes are being created by the Education Department of the National Museum of Ireland at Collins Barracks in order to aid the teaching and interpretation of the ‘Bonnets, Bandoliers and Ballot Papers’ Virtual Tour

In creating this guide, this will provide you with the following learning tools and aids
  • To provide further information about the key artefacts on each stop of the Virtual Tour, as well as a brief historical context
  • To suggest potential discussion points in order to aid classroom discussion, and to suggest possible solo and group activities for students to engage in, which will enhance their understanding of the material presented
  • To provide teachers with the relevant curriculum links, highlighting why each section of the tour was chosen and to explain what we hope to achieve for students at each location

Download the 'Bonnets, Bandoliers and Ballot Papers' Virtual Tour Teachers' Notes Post Primary Edition


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Collins Barracks ,
Benburb St,
Dublin 7,
D07 XKV4

+353 1 677 7444