Renegades Irish Republican Women 1900-1922


The history of the Irish republican movement is dominated by the story of the men who took up arms in Ireland's fight for freedom against the British. The names of men like Pearse, Connolly, Collins and Barry still resonate today as heroes who won independence for Ireland. However, the critical role of women in this fight for freedom has often been overlooked. Renegades examines the part played by women in the major political and social revolutions that took place from 1900– 1922. It explores the growing separation of republican women into two distinct groups, those active on the military side in Cumann na mBan and those involved on the political side, particularly with Sinn Féin. It also looks at the often ignored 'war on women', which manifested itself in the form of physical and sexual assaults by both sides during the War of Independence, and the fury of female republicans as the political establishment accepted the Anglo-Irish Treaty. In this evocative account, Renegades restores the women of the republican movement to the prominent place they deserve in Irish history.

Ann Matthews is an historian. Originally from Dublin she now lives in Kildare. She currently lectures at NUI Maynooth on 'Women and War' and 'Republican women and iconography'. She has contributed to The Journal of IrishMilitary History and The Irish Archive Journal among others.

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