5 Apr 2021

Meet Alice Perry


Alice was a poet, feminist and first woman in Europe to graduate with a degree in engineering. She was born in Galway coming from a family that had strong engineering traditions. Her father and brother even founded the Galway Electric Light Company.

Meet Alice Perry | Stemettes Zine

Even though she started out with a degree in the arts, she turned her focus to engineering. in which she graduated in the Autumn of 1906.

After graduating, Alice was offered a senior postgraduate scholarship. However, she refused the offer after her father’s death. In December that year, she succeeded her father temporarily as county surveyor for Galway County Council. She remained in this position for five or six months. Her work took her all over Ireland in all weathers, inspecting roads, walls, piers, footpaths, bridges, courthouses and county buildings and arranging for repairs and upkeep where necessary. When applying for the permanent position, the majority of the council would not back Perry when she applied for a permanent position, even though she had excelled in the role for the previous half-year. One paper wrote…

“The many and arduous duties of County Surveyor have never been better or more faithfully discharged than since they were taken over by Miss Perry.”
– Connaught Champion


black and white clapping gif | Stemettes Zine
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