History talks

As part of our build up to our 1916 celebrations Mr Mc Nieve has been reading out historical information to the school over the last few days .
They have been extremely popular and we hope to share some of them with you over the next few days.

 

Women in the 1916 Rising.

 

Many women played a role in the 1916 rising. Cuman na mbanwas formed as an organisation for women 1n 1914. It was in many ways to be a version of the Irish Volunteers for women.  One of its most famous members was Countess Markievicz. She led members of the IRB in the St Stephens Green area of Dublin in 1916.

 Indeed all the garrisons in the 1916, except two, had women in then fighting alongside the men. Other women played vital roles in transporting weapons, messages, and ammunition. Other women actually led men in the attacks. One example is that of Margaret Skinneder. She was a primary school teacher who led a group of 5 men in the Harcourt Street area of the city. Margaret was shot and wounded three times in the fighting. Much to the shame of the first government she was refused a military pension simply on the basis that she was a woman, and not a male soldier. She eventually received it in 1938 after many appeals.

Another famous woman from the 1916 Rising is Elizabeth O Farrell. Elizabeth O Farrell was the woman that Patrick Pearse instructed to carry the surrender order to the various garrisons around the city. Many members of Cuman Na Mban were imprisoned after the Rising, the bulk of them in Kilmainham jail.

The women who fought in the 1916 rising were perhaps the first to set the precedent for future generations of Irish Women. They were prepared to act and fight as the men did and were willing to face the consequences . The women of 1916 set an international precedent for women everywhere to demand equal rights for women, equal pay for women, and equal opportunities for women. Unfortunately for many women in the world that fight continues. Let’s hope that all the women of the world today can take inspiration from the women of 1916.