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Women of 1916 must be afforded their proper place in history

9 April, 2007

Sinn Féin candidate for Dublin Central Mary Lou McDonald MEP this morning attended a commemoration organised by the North Inner City Folklore Project to honour the women who fought in the 1916 Rising. Speaking following the event Ms. McDonald ‘More than 200 women took part in the 1916 Rising but for many years their contribution has been largely overlooked.  I hope that as we move towards the 100th anniversary of the Rising that we afford all of these women their proper place in Irish history and we ensure that the type of Ireland for which they fought is built.’


Ms. McDonald said:


“With the exception of Constance Markiewicz, the role of women in the 1916 Rising was largely forgotten for many years. It is estimated that out of a total of 1,600 people involved in the 1916 Rising up to 220 were women. 77 women were imprisoned in Kilmainham Gaol in the aftermath of the rising. Some were members of the Citizen Army while others were in Cumann na mBan. Women participated in the Irish Citizen Army on an equal basis with men and Constance Markiewicz, Helena Moloney, Madeleine ffrench-Mullen and Dr Kathleen Lynn were prominent in the Citizen Army during Easter week.


“Among the last people to leave the GPO were Cumann na mBan members Winifred Carney, Julia Grenan and Elizabeth O’Farrell. Julia Grenan was a dispatch carrier during Easter week and brought information from the GPO to garrisons around the city. Elizabeth O’Farrell was chosen by Padraig Pearse to bring the surrender documents to the various garrisons to signal the end of the Rising.  I welcome the decision of Dublin City Council to unveil a plaque honouring Elizabeth O'Farrell in City Quay Park earlier this year.


“It is important that these women and the many others who played such an important role in the Rising are afforded their proper place in Irish history.  As we begin the countdown to the 100th anniversary of the 1916 Rising I hope that a particular emphasis in placed on the role of  women in the Rising and the impact that this has had on womens rights since then.  It is also important that the Ireland for which they fought is delivered.”ENDS



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