27 April-Georgina Frost (Women’s Equality)

Georgina Frost was a native of Co Clare, Ireland. In 1920, following a protracted legal battle, she became the first woman in either Ireland or Great Britain to hold a public office. Her success marked the beginning of employment equality for women.

Thomas Frost was Clerk of the Petty Sessions (District Court Clerk) for Sixmilebridge and Newmarket-on Fergus, Co Clare. He was assisted in his duties by his daughter Georgina. On his retirement in 1915, Georgina was unanimously elected to replace by the local judiciary.

The government in Dublin Castle declared the appointment of Georgina to be illegal. They stated that a government position could not be held by a woman. Georgina decided to take legal action to have the decision reversed. She began by making an appeal to the High Court in Dublin in 1917.

The High Court upheld the decision of the government and Georgina then appealed the decision to the Irish Court of Appeal. She failed in her action and decided to take her case to the House of Lords in London where she won in April 1920. Her victory, though largely unnoticed in history began the process of dismantling discrimination against women in employment.

Georgina Frost won her legal battle to retain her job as a public servantĀ in the year 1920 On This Day.

Co.Clare Fingerpost – signpost, Ireland April 1989


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