Plaque unveiled for Irish woman who shot Mussolini

At a glance

  • Dublin city council have put up a plaque to Violet Gibson
  • She came close to assassinating fascist leader Benito Mussolini during a speech in the 1920s
  • She has been seen as a forgotten heroine after she spent the rest of her life in an English mental health facility
A memorial plaque honoring the Irish lady who killed Italian dictator Benito Mussolini has been unveiled.
The fascist leader received a light wound to the nose from one of Violet Gibson’s bullets.
The plaque was unveiled on Thursday at the Dublin address of her childhood home, 12 Merrion Square.
Mannix Flynn, an independent Dublin city councilor, made the suggestion and referred to her as a revolutionary anti-fascist.
Three years into his reign, on April 7, 1926, Ms. Gibson attempted to assassinate Mussolini as the dictator was giving a speech in Rome.
Ms Gibson, who was 50-years-old at the time, stepped out from the crowd and fired a shot at the Italian leader.

Who was Violet Gibson?

While the initial shot only missed his nose, Ms. Gibson’s gun jammed on a further attempt before she was arrested.
She spent some time in an Italian jail before being expelled to England, where she was admitted to St. Andrew’s Hospital, a psychiatric hospital in Northampton, where she remained until her death in 1956.
Ms. Gibson undertook a “very political” act, and Siobhan Lynam, who produced a radio documentary about her, external, told RTÉ News during the plaque presentation that it suited British and Italian authorities to depict her as “crazy rather than bad.”

The gunshot grazed Mussolini’s nose

Ms. Gibson was a debutante in Queen Victoria’s court and was born into a wealthy Anglo-Irish family.
In her 20s, she underwent a conversion to Catholicism and developed a strong passion for social justice.
Mr Flynn said: “Violet Gibson is a feminist; she’s a woman; she’s an extraordinary individual and you can place her with any of the martyrs of males and she is an equal.”


 by: Miss Cherry May Timbol – Independent Reporter
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