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Cumann Na MBan and the Irish Revolution 1914-1923

Cumann Na MBan and the Irish Revolution 1914-1923

Paperback

By (author) Cal McCarthy

List price $18.78

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  • Publisher: The Collins Press
  • Format: Paperback | 216 pages
  • Dimensions: 128mm x 198mm x 16mm | 308g
  • Publication date: 15 August 2007
  • Publication City/Country: Cork
  • ISBN 10: 1905172141
  • ISBN 13: 9781905172146
  • Illustrations note: b&w pictures
  • Sales rank: 1,437,764

Product description

The only book about Cumann na mBan and the Irish Revolution The political role of women in the early twentieth century may have been restricted to providing support but Cumann na mBan paved the way for women to gain more political influence in the Irish government. There are now 22 women TDs in Dail Eireann and a woman holds the highest office in the land, the Presidency of Ireland. Cumann na mBan, a women's support group to the Irish Volunteers, was founded in 1914. Nationalist in outlook, its aims centred on arming Irish men, generating propaganda and presenting a united Irish opposition to English rule. With members such as Mary and Muriel MacSwiney, Kathleen Clarke, Mabel Fitzgerald (mother of Garrett Fitzgerald) and Countess Markievicz, Cumann na mBan reflected nationalist Ireland and played a crucial role in the politics of the time. Members were invaluable in gathering intelligence, transporting arms, nursing wounded men, providing safe houses, and organising support for IRA men in prison. They also boosted attendance at election rallies, funerals and protest marches. In 1922 the organisation overwhelmingly rejected the Treaty. This resulted in a substantial split and the formation of Cumann na Saoirse (Free State Cumann na mBan) from the minority who were in favour of the Treaty. The Free State Government's awareness of Cumann na mBan's assistance to the IRA after the 1916 Rising resulted in large-scale imprisonment of republican women during the Civil War. But Cumann na mBan had placed equality for women on the political agenda and demonstrated women could be as politically active and capable as men.

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Author information

Cal McCarthy, from Cork, studied history and economics at UCC before going on to work as a civil servant. During a career break he completed his MPhil with a thesis on the 1918 election. He currently works with the Department of Arts, Sports and Tourism. Cumann na mBan and the Irish Revolution (2007) was his first book. His second is Green, Blue & Grey - The Irish in the American Civil War.

Review quote

'A comprehensive and insightful history' Books Ireland 'Meticulously researched' Evening Echo

Table of contents

Acknowledgements vii Acronyms ix Introduction 1 Historical Background, Origins and Foundation 5 The Emergence of Nationalism and Feminism in Ireland 5 Origins of Cumann na mBan 9 The Inaugural Public Meeting 15 Consolidation, Expansion and the Preservation of Unity 1914-16 22 The Early Expansion 25 The Volunteer Split 33 Early Activities 41 Cumann na mBan and the Rising 51 A Nation Confused 52 On their own Initiative 58 A Beginning at the End 66 From the Gun to the Ballot Box 1916-18 72 Propagating the Republic 73 Cumann na mBan and Sinn Fein 84 Reorganisation and Republicanism 102 The War of Independence 1918-21 114 Cumann na mBan and the IRA 117 The Women at War 123 The Support Role 139 Numerical Contraction and Geographical Penetration 154 Social Status 165 Division and Civil War 1921-23 171 The Special Convention 176 Cumann na Saoirse 185 Branch Division and War 194 Women Behind the Wire 206 Conclusion 217 Appendix 221 Endnotes 223 Bibliography 254 Index 266