The Woman who Shot Mussolini followed by a Q&A with Film Director Barrie Dowdall

VIOLET GIBSON  - A Documentary about the Irish Woman Who Shot Mussolini - followed by Q&A with the director Barrie Dowdall

PLEASE NOTE:  Due to the pandemic, this event is being rescheduled to a later date.  Please see this What’s On Page on January 4th. 


Based on the Radio Documentary by Siobhán Lynam

Inspired by “The Woman Who Shot Mussolini” by Frances Stonor Saunders

In 1926, 49-year-old aristocrat Violet Gibson, formerly a debutante at the Court of Queen Victoria, pushed her way through an adoring crowd in Rome and shot Italian fascist dictator Benito Mussolini at point blank range. She came the closest to success of the four assassination attempts on Mussolini, yet, she was written off as a lone “mad Irishwoman”, committed to a lunatic asylum, and effectively written out of history.

Fri 04 March 2022


Tickets: £12/10

Following 18 months of imprisonment and interrogation in Italy, and investigations into an international conspiracy, a deal was brokered by Mussolini and the British Foreign Office to have her declared insane and locked up in a British lunatic asylum for the rest of her life.

For 30 years, she battled for her release, writing letters to the authorities, politicians, friends, to Churchill after Italy declared war on Britain, to Princess Elizabeth. Her letters were never posted. In 1956, she died alone in the asylum, no friends or family attended her funeral.

Passed off as a “mad Irishwoman”, a “demented spinster”, a “crazy Irish mystic” this revelatory documentary brings the fascinating story to light, of the bold, free-thinking  daughter of the Lord Chancellor of Ireland, who rejected the trappings of her Anglo-Irish upbringing, and committed herself to social justice, anti-war activism, and opposition to fascism.

95 years after the assassination attempt, Dublin City Council’s decision to erect a commemorative plaque honouring Violet Gibson has generated worldwide interest in this truly captivating story of Violet Gibson –  The Irish Woman Who Shot Mussolini.