Independent Media Centre Ireland
Dublin - Event Notice
Thursday January 01 1970

Political Theatre.

category dublin | rights, freedoms and repression | event notice author Tuesday March 28, 2006 11:15author by Strawberry Girl - theunmanagables

Women's Meeting .

Saturday first April at 47 Middle Abbey Street.

Discussion and preparations, girls.

Agenda formation and group tasks.

Comments (17 of 17)

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author by Tank Girlpublication date Tue Mar 28, 2006 17:16author address author phone

Please tell us more. Then I'll know if I'm interested. I hope its not an April Fools joke ;(

author by Clarepublication date Tue Mar 28, 2006 18:39author address author phone

I hate to say it but I'd be a bit suspicious of this one too. I wish it was true but definitely need more information. For a start what time? is there an objective?

"Agenda formation and group tasks"?!

author by strawberry girl - theunmanageablespublication date Tue Mar 28, 2006 21:02author address author phone

For three to four weeks,members of women's activist groups have been meeting to address the issue of women's political invisibility in this country. This is past and present. we are staging a pageant soon, but do not discuss the details on the wires. we are very serious.There is an activist list derived from the minutes attendees and a yahoo groups discussion and meeting list. if you would like to attend it is at 2pm on saturday april 1. the date , we can't help. We have had only one Sunday meeting because of a protest that most went to.If you are female and want to address invisibility and like dressing up and theatre and have 'the gonads' for a bit of fun and convergence you are welcome to come is about theatre baby.

( the unmanageables list is invite only, all attendees get invited).

This has been listed as an event notice before april one, check out the calendar.

author by 'Address Invisibility'publication date Tue Mar 28, 2006 23:24author address author phone

If ever there was an April fool joke - this 'event' notice is surely it.

author by Elainepublication date Wed Mar 29, 2006 00:57author address author phone

Have been to a few meetings already. Come along and find out if it's for you. Unfortunately it clashes with the Cosantoiri meeting at the Teachers club this Saturday, so won't be able to make this one. Will catch up with the minutes of the meeting during the week.

See you in the trenches!

The Most Unmanageable Revolutionarys
The Most Unmanageable Revolutionarys

author by Strawberry - the unmanageablespublication date Wed Mar 29, 2006 08:38author address author phone

Saturday April first @2pm. 47 Middle Abbey Street.

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author by iosafpublication date Wed Mar 29, 2006 15:19author address author phone

I took the precaution of adding an "n" and then it worked. all part of the suspense I suspect...

author by madam kpublication date Wed Mar 29, 2006 15:56author address author phone

"Invisible Women"

The singer sings a rebel song

and everybody sings along.

Just one thing I'll never understand:

Every damn rebel seems to be a man.

For he sings of the Bold Fenian Men

And the Boys of the Old Brigade.

What about the women who stood there too

"When history was made" ...?

Ireland, Mother Ireland, with your freedom loving sons,

Did your daughters run and hide at the sound of guns?

Or did they have some part in the fight

And why does everybody try to keep them out of sight?

For they sing of the Men of the West

And the Boys of Wexford too.

Were there no women living round those parts;

Tell me, what did they do ... ?

by B. Moore

author by pat cpublication date Wed Mar 29, 2006 15:57author address author phone

This is an extract from "'Soldiers Are We': Women in the Irish Rising". You can access the full article at the History Today website. Registration is required, but its free. Registration doesnt mean you get a lot of spam: I just get 2 mails a month from History Today. Theres plenty of other free stuff there as well.


'Soldiers Are We': Women in the Irish Rising

History Today April 2006

‘The astonishing drama of Easter Week 1916 is deeply etched in Irish historical memory. But the direct memory of the participants, the first Army of the Irish Republic, has been harder to recover. The original records of the Irish Volunteer organization have mostly disappeared (many of them buried or burnt in 1916), and no full history of the movement has so far been written. Although a number of former rebels penned personal recollections over the subsequent decades, no official history of the 1916 rebellion or the 1919-21 war of independence was ever compiled. The nearest approach was the establishment of a bureau of military history in 1945, almost thirty years after the rising. Over the next six or seven years, well over a thousand ‘witness statements’ were supplied by former fighters of the Volunteers, Irish Citizen Army (ICA), and the principal women’s organization, Cumann na mBan. These were soon effectively buried in government vaults, and far from providing the basis for an official history, they were closed off to all researchers. The reason seems to have been the fear of controversy. Despite the fact that each statement was prefaced with a note specifying the restrictions to access imposed by the author – in practically every case the answer was ‘none’ – these became regarded as confidential, even secret documents. Only after the death of the last surviving participant were they finally released into the public domain, in March 2003.

The story about the Volunteer concert is drawn from one of these statements, and together they give us a vivid sense of the experience of the early Irish Volunteers. They come in a wide array of styles and sizes, ranging from a handful of pages to more than two hundred. Some are laconic and tightly focused, others expansive – one begins with an indignant account of the ‘tithe war’ of the 1830s. Some writers naturally knew more about what was going on – notably those in the inner circles of the Irish Republican Brotherhood, the secret revolutionary organization whose ‘military committee’ planned the rebellion. Those in the higher ranks of the Volunteers tended to have a wider grasp of affairs, though of course all the senior commanders were executed after the rebellion – with one famous exception, Eamon de Valera, and he chose (despite much urging by others) never to record his recollections of 1916. Nor, sadly, did the most celebrated of the women rebels of 1916, Countess Markievicz. But many women (almost 150) did write witness statements, and in these we get a real sense of liberation through revolution – a liberation that subsequent generations would struggle to replicate.

Women were closely involved in the preparations for, and the conduct of, the military action in Easter week. Cumann na mBan was launched four months after the Irish Volunteers specifically as an auxiliary force. By contrast, the women members of the ICA, never an all-male outfit, planned not only to nurse and cater for the fighters, but to join the fight themselves: ‘to knit and darn, march and shoot’ as one put it. But the boundaries between these groups were, in any case, blurred. Winnie Carney, who came to Dublin to act as secretary to James Connolly, the revolutionary socialist leader and organizer of the ICA, and stayed with him to the bitter end of the fighting, was a member of Cumann na mBan rather than the ICA, and so was Connolly’s own daughter Nora. The badge worn by Cumann na mBan members, it may be noted, featured not a first-aid kit but a rifle, and their organizational rhetoric was unmistakably military.

Yet though Countess Markievicz, an officer in the ICA, was present in Liberty Hall (the trades union headquarters in Dublin) when the final decision to rise was taken, many of the women members were not mobilized. Some of the rebel commanders simply forgot about them, others deliberately excluded them – when Maire Nic Shiubhlaigh, a Dublin stage star, finally forced her way into the heavily-fortified Jacob’s Biscuit Factory, its commander greeted her with the words ‘We haven’t made any provision for girls here.’ So the experience of the two hundred or so women who joined the 1,400 rebels was varied. Most were consigned – willingly enough, perhaps – to catering duties and kept out of danger as far as possible. Rose McNamara, a Cumann na mBan captain who successfully managed the food supply for the Marrowbone Lane Distillery garrison, recorded that only on Friday, four days after the start of the rebellion, was she ‘brought up to the firing line to see two of the enemy soldiers lying dead – on top of one another – outside.’ However, Aine Ryan, doing the same job at the Hibernian Bank on Sackville Street, got into greater danger. She was called across to help an outpost which ‘had no girls at all’; ‘I don’t know how it came about but I found myself and another girl carrying a zinc bath full of food from Reis’s Chambers across to the GPO with our heads bent to the ground.’ This meant crossing Sackville Street (now O’Connell Street), one of the widest in Europe, and a free fire zone for the British troops posted by O’Connell Bridge: ‘we did this at least twice.’

Some of Rose McNamara’s women comrades in the distillery acted as loaders for the riflemen, and elsewhere women became full combatants. Markievicz was the most flamboyant, but her comrade on St Stephen’s Green, Margaret Skinnider, was equally determined. ‘It was dark there’ (in the College of Surgeons), she wrote, ‘full of smoke and the dirt of firing, but it was good to be in action.’ Going out on a sortie, she was hit by three bullets, which incapacitated her – and just as bad in her view, ruined her beautiful new Citizen Army greatcoat. Women played an even bigger role in the ICA force that nearly captured Dublin Castle. Helena Molony was there, revolver in hand, when the policeman at the Castle gate was shot dead, and the rebels might have rushed into the yard, but did not. ‘In a flash, the gates were closed’ – but she, like others, could not quite understand the reasons for the fatal hesitation. The rebels occupied City Hall instead, and when their commander was killed on its roof, he was succeeded by Kathleen Lynn, one of Ireland’s pioneering female doctors.

Women’s experiences reflected the oddly improvisatory nature of the rebel dispositions, despite the months of planning that had gone on. Molly Reynolds, for instance, was with the forces on St Stephen’s Green when Margaret Skinnider came up ‘and said there were no women in the GPO and she had been sent to look for volunteers for that post.’ Reynolds and another Cumann na mBan walked there, to be met by one of the legendary figures of the Volunteer movement, The O’Rahilly, who took them all around the huge building ‘to select the most suitable place for a casualty station’ – something that could well have been done in advance. They settled on ‘a big open space at the back of the main hall’ where they set up their station ‘using immense basket skips for beds.’ At last some men arrived to take over the medical post, immediately relegating Reynolds herself to auxiliary duty, while other women ‘took up duty in the kitchen while others acted as despatch carriers’.

The commitment of these women was beyond question. Reynolds met several other Cumann na mBan who had come across from Liverpool to get in on the action, and even ‘three or four girls who had walked in from Milltown’ to enter the thick of the battle – these ‘belonged to no organization but were anxious to help’. She records the surprisingly limited scale of the rebel casualties in the GPO, considering the length and intensity of the bombardment its garrison endured (culminating, of course, in the spectacular gutting of the building by incendiary shellfire). One man shot himself in the toe while breaking down a door, another was wounded when a homemade grenade exploded (the rebels’ homemade munitions were notoriously ineffective, though mercifully rarely so dangerous to their users). The most serious wound was suffered by a man on the roof, who was shot in the head and eventually lost an eye; the most famous casualty was James Connolly, who was brought in from a sortie with ‘one-and-a-half to two inches of his shinbone shattered’. This was a fearsome challenge for his amateur nurses, and for the medical student who had to care for Connolly – there being no qualified doctor in the GPO garrison – as he was carried (on a door) out into the bullet-swept back streets during the final evacuation of the GPO.

Charles Townshend is Professor of Modern History at Keele University. His Easter 1916: The Irish Rebellion, is newly published in softback by Penguin, price £8.99

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author by strawberry girlpublication date Wed Mar 29, 2006 16:30author address author phone

'No Ordinary Women' by Sinead Cooney.

Can't remember Subtitle.

author by pat cpublication date Wed Mar 29, 2006 16:38author address author phone

No Ordinary Women
Irish Female Activists in the Revolutionary Years
by Sinéad McCoole

Paperback edition of this bestseller.
Spies, snipers, couriers, gun-runners, medics -- women played a major role in the fight for Ireland's freedom, risking loss of life and family for a cause to which they were totally committed.

This book highlights a time when vast numbers of Irish women were politicised and imprisoned for their beliefs, with a special emphasis on one prison, Kilmainham Gaol.They came from every class in society and all walks of life: titled ladies and shop assistants, doctors, housewives, laundry workers, artists and teachers. Some were married with children, others widowed and some mere schoolchildren.

These are hidden stories that vividly recreate the characters, personalities and courage of Ireland's revolutionary women.

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author by Strawberry - the unmanageablespublication date Fri Mar 31, 2006 17:55author address author phone

this week's meeting postponed due to a series of unfortunate events: winter vomiting bug, IAWM meeting, bad back.
reschedule will be posted asap under the unmanageables.

author by Epidemologistpublication date Fri Mar 31, 2006 18:10author address author phone

"this week's meeting postponed due to a series of unfortunate events: winter vomiting bug, IAWM meeting, bad back."

Did the idea of attending an IAWM meeting cause you to start vomiting and bring on a bad back?

author by peig mahonepublication date Fri Mar 31, 2006 22:13author address author phone

and it's not an IAWM meeting but a Cosantoiri Siochana meeting.

author by madam kpublication date Fri Mar 31, 2006 22:24author address author phone

On a positive note my front is fine!

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author by missa Eirepublication date Fri Mar 31, 2006 23:09author address author phone


it`s not all glamour you know
it`s not all glamour you know

author by strawberry girl - the unmanageablespublication date Sat Apr 01, 2006 17:34author address author phone

There will be a short meet n greet tomorrow at 47 Middle Abbey Street, wherein the issue of
honouring the female activists and revolutionaries of 1916 will be discussed. assuming that everyone has chosen a muse and a piece for the broadsheet we will put aside the April fates and continue
to plan the action.As posted on the unamanageables blog on this fine fool's day, it's time to
show the emperors and kings a pageant :a lot of network, coffee and self-motivation is required.
But sure , why not?

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