Geraldine Plunkett Dillon

(07/11/1892 - 13/05/1986)

Geraldine “Gerry” Plunkett Dillon (1891–1986) was deeply woven into the fabric of Ireland’s fight for independence. Born into the illustrious Plunkett family, Gerry was the fourth of seven children, including her renowned brother Joseph Mary Plunkett, a signatory of the 1916 Proclamation of the Irish Republic. From her early years, Dillon was immersed in the struggle for Irish freedom, her life entwined with the tumultuous events of the time.
Growing up in Dublin, Gerry’s involvement in the nationalist cause was ignited by her brother Joseph’s fervour. She actively supported his activities within the Irish Volunteers and the Irish Republican Brotherhood, playing a crucial role in clandestine operations such as smuggling gelignite and ammunition. Dillon’s commitment to the cause deepened when she married Thomas Dillon, a chemistry lecturer with republican leanings.
The pivotal moments of Easter 1916 found Gerry Dillon at the heart of the action. Living with Joseph at Larkfield House in Kimmage, she witnessed the preparations for the Rising firsthand. Despite her fervent desire to join her brother at the General Post Office, Joseph insisted she remain at Larkfield to aid in the production of explosives. Throughout the Rising, Gerry and her husband observed the unfolding events from a vantage point in Dublin, cycling through the city’s streets amidst the chaos.
Following Joseph’s execution, Gerry remained steadfast in her commitment to the cause. She continued her involvement with organizations such as the Irish Republican Army and Cumann na mBan, actively participating in the struggle for Irish independence. Despite facing frequent raids and imprisonment by British forces, Gerry’s resolve remained unyielding.
Beyond her revolutionary activities, Gerry Dillon was a woman of remarkable talent and intellect. She contributed to various literary and artistic endeavours, including the publication of her brother’s poetry and her own volume of verse, “Magnificat.” Her contributions to the arts extended to the founding of Taibhdhearc na Gaillimhe and the Galway Art Club, where she exhibited her work.
Gerry Dillon’s remarkable life and legacy are preserved through her memoir, “All in the Blood,” edited by her granddaughter, Honor Ó Brolcháin. Gerry Dillon passed away in 1986, leaving behind a rich legacy of courage, resilience, and dedication to the pursuit of justice. Today, her memory lives on, a beacon of hope and inspiration for all who strive for a better, more just world.

Person Photo
Connection with area: Irish republican and member of Cumann na mBan who lived in Larkfield House on Sundrive Road.