Violet Gibson – the woman who shot Mussolini

On Thursday 20th October we’ll unveil a plaque to Dublin woman Violet Gibson, who attempted to assassinate Fascist Dictator Benito Mussolini.

The plaque will be unveiled by Lord Mayor Caroline Conroy at 11am on Thursday 20th October, at 12 Merrion Square North, Dublin 2, Gibson’s childhood home. All are welcome to attend.

Also speaking at the unveiling will be writer and producer Siobhán Lynam, whose 2014 RTÉ radio documentary The Irishwoman Who Shot Mussolini brought Violet Gibson’s story to light.

Violet Gibson, daughter of MP and Lord Chancellor of Ireland, Edward Gibson, was born in Dalkey in 1876 and educated at the family home on Merrion Square.

The young Violet Gibson was something of a socialite, appearing at Queen Victoria’s Court, with her attendance at balls and other social events featuring in the gossip columns of newspapers and magazines.

Having flirted with her mother’s Christian Science faith, Gibson studied theosophy in Switzerland and France, before converting to Roman Catholicism.

Following periods of mental and physical illness, Violet Gibson moved to Rome in 1925, where on 7th April 1926 she attempted to assassinate the Fascist leader.

Following her attempt on Mussolini’s life, Violet Gibson was placed in an asylum in England by her family, where she was kept with little or no contact with the outside world. She died in the asylum in 1956.

For more information about Violet Gibson, see her entry in the Dictionary of Irish Biography: