Grace Gifford and Joseph Plunkett

Grace Gifford and Joseph Plunkett

Grace Gifford Plunkett

Grace Gifford Plunkett was born on the 4th of March 1888 in Dublin City, as the second youngest of 12 children in her family. Her parents were Frederick and Isabella Gifford and the family lived in the fashionable suburb of Rathmines in Dublin. With her father being a Catholic and her mother a Protestant, the boys were brought up as Catholics and the girls as Protestants.


Grace attended a private school at first, and then became a student of Alexandra School, which was at the centre of Dublin City. Then in 1904, at the age of 16, she went to the Dublin Metropolitan School of Art, where she studied under the famous Irish artist, William Orpen. Orpen regarded Grace as one of his most talented pupils. In 1907, she extended her studies further when she attended a full-time course in Fine Art at the Slade School of Art in London.


It was obvious from Grace’s study that she had a wonderful talent as an artist and in 1908, she returned to Dublin but found it very hard to make a living as a caricaturist (sort of exaggerated cartoon…pass picture around). Despite earning so little, she enjoyed a lively social life. She was always well dressed, and mixed with the like of Mrs. Dryhurst, who was a journalist in London.

During this year, Mrs Dryhurst brought Grace to the opening of the new bilingual St. Enda’s School in Ranelagh, Dublin. It was here that Grace first came into contact with the future leaders of the 1916 rising, including Thomas MacDonagh, to whom Grace’s sister Murial was married, and a young man named Joseph Plunkett.

Joseph Mary Plunkett

Joseph Plunkett was born on the 21st November 1887 in Fitzwilliam Street in Dublin to a distinguished Co. Meath Family. His father was George Noble Plunkett, and he was an ancestor of Saint Oliver Plunkett. His father was also a Papal Count, so the Catholic religion was extremely important to the Plunkett family.

Unfortunately, at a young age Joseph was...

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