Women’s Suffrage and Edna Purtell

Women’s Suffrage

Women on Different Continents fighting for a common cause.

Both Eva Gore Booth, Edna Purtell, and others fought for women’s rights, especially the right to vote but their battles would take different tactics to be fought on different shores.

Eva Gore Booth 1

 Eva Gore Booth, an Anglo-Irish woman from County Sligo Ireland, had always been sensitive to the plight of others, as was her more famous sister, Constance Gore Booth or the Rebel Countess as she became known during Ireland’s rebellious past. Both women grew up educated, well cared for, and worldly.  While Constance would live most of her adult life in Ireland, Eva  moved to Manchester, England to live with her lifelong companion, Esther Roper. Both women worked toward women’s suffrage, a journey they spent their lifetime traveling through themselves. They wrote letters, created posters and banners, and gave speeches. Had anyone listened though? Constance gave speeches, wrote manifestos, and eventual put on a uniform. She thought that if Irish freedom were obtained Women’s rights would follow.

Eva, however, did not believe in violence and never took up that particular battle. she felt the power of the pen was more beneficial. Not so for many of her comrades.

women's suffrage

Women’s Suffrage Protestor escorted by British Police

The fight for women’s suffrage was not a new war nor an unusual battle at this time in history yet the way Eva and Esther fought was different from many who spoke out in England and even in America. Eva and Esther were pacifists while the rest of the world moved toward more controversial and often risky means of protest.

The media labeled them, Suffragettes.

These women believed the only way to win women the vote was to force the general public, specifically men, to stand up and take notice of their demands. The only way to do that ..  was to shock them.

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New Book

New Book Petticoat Rebels of 1916

Extraordinary Women in Ireland’s Struggle for Freedom

By Brighid O’Sullivan

Petticoat Rebels of 1916 ebook smallExcerpt from Chapter 7:

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Radio Broadcast and the Easter Rising

Radio and 10 Things You didn’t know about the Easter Rising

Part 2

radioA Wedding Postponed

#6.  Thomas Dillon and Geraldine Plunkett were supposed to be married in a double wedding with Grace Gifford and Joseph Plunkett on Easter Sunday.

Joseph Plunkett was a leader and planner of  the Rising. The Sinn Fein Rebellion, as it was known by the British would not have happened without him. He was a member of the Irish Republican Brotherhood and helped plan the Rising by studying military tactics although he’d never before been a soldier. He also was involved in getting word out to the rest of the world on a radio. As one of the signatories of the Irish Proclamation, he was executed as well.

Joseph postponed his marriage to Grace Gifford but with all the confusion the day before the Rising he said that if he was arrested he still wanted to get married in Kilmainham Jail, which he did. Just hours after the couple took their vows, Joseph Plunkett was shot by firing squad. He was already dying of tuberculosis.

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Guns to fuel a Fishing Boat?

Guns aboard the boat that started it all, the Asgard!

In June of 1914, 900 guns, specifically Mauser riffles and 29,000 rounds of ammunition were purchased from Germany and shipped to Ireland. The guns were supposed  to be used to protect Home Rule but in 1916 they would be used for an all-out rebellion against England. Several women were at the heart of this mission: Alice Stopford Green, Molly Childers, (wife of Erskine Childers who also was involved) and Mary Spring Rice.

rebellion

Mary Spring Rice as a child

Mary Spring Rice grew up in a wealthy Anglo-Irish household whose compassion and free-thinking atmosphere encouraged independent thinking and a love for Irish culture. The family spoke Irish fluently. When she was selling Irish lace in London she met Erskine and Molly Childers, Alice Stopford Green and eventually Roger Casement who were part of an Anglo Irish Committee. Motivated by the Ulster Volunteers ability to smuggle guns into Larne and march all over Belfast, the group was determined to find a way to arm the Irish Volunteers as well. But how?

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Blog to Book/ Author Interview

Blog to Book

Author Interview w/ Shannon Haire

I am pleased to introduce the readers of Celticthoughts.com to author, Shannon Haire who has just released her new book, Petticoat, Patriots, and Partition. Shannon also writes a blog called Choosing the Green,

smilefistInterview w/ Shannon Haire

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Easter Rising Rebels would not give their names

Why the rebels of the Easter Rising would not give their names

Frongoch Concentration Camp in north Wales was not without its sacrifices for the rebels of the Easter Rising in 1916. While it is true the men had considerably more freedom at Frongoch in the old distillery compared to Kilmainham Gaol, Knutsford, or Wandsworth Prisons in England where they suffered solitary confinement,  one of the biggest personal price they paid was inflicted on themselves by themselves.

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Why did the Easter rising fail?

Why did the Easter Rising of 1916 fail?

Or did it?

Success or failure in anything at all depends on 3 factors:

Timing,

Point of view,

Long term affects.

Easter Rising CommenorationLet’s look at the facts.

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Rebels as German Spies

Rebels or German Spies in 20th Century Ireland

Of all the Petticoat Rebels I have written about I think Sidney Gifford is one of my favorites. Perhaps it was because she never let anyone tell her she couldn’t do something. Like so many other female rebels in 20th century Ireland she accomplished extraordinary goals in a male dominated world.

Irish Freedom paper 2Sidney Gifford was a writer but not just any writer. While it was acceptable for females to write about subjects such as housekeeping and cooking Miss Gifford took another path entirely with pen and paper. She wrote political and considered radical essays about Irish freedom and British tyranny. She did this in not one but 2 countries. Ireland and the  America and took the pen name, John Gifford to make sure her articles were read.

 

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Petticoat Rebels in Medicine/ Kathleen Lynn

Petticoat Rebels in Medicine and Doctor Kathleen Lynn

The most unlikely Petticoat Rebel after the Easter Rising was Doctor Kathleen Lynn. Appointed Chief Medical Officer of the Irish Citizen Army she  trained the rebels in first aid and was active in smuggling arms before the Easter Rising ever took place but her accomplishments go far beyond these simple facts.

Kathleen Lynn 2After the Easter Rising two things  continued. Sinn Fein, the new Provisional Government of Ireland and only one in Europe to include women on its board of trustees, gained massive political and pubic support especially with its anti-conscription bill.

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Petticoat Rebels in Ireland?

womens trade unionPETTICOAT REBELS IN IRELAND

Some of the most unlikely rebels were women who grew up in Protestant Unionist households, in other words part of the Anglo Irish elite

.They went to private schools, socialized with those of their own class, lived in large Georgian houses in the same neighborhoods as their peers, supposedly sharing the same values and ideals.

The lines were strictly drawn and it was considered scandalous for women to speak up against establishment, write editorials, or do almost anything outside of homemaking. In fact, after the Easter Rising, Nellie Gifford was thrown out of her mother’s  house. So how did these women become rebels in Ireland?

GovernessSeveral reasons.

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