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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War on women in Ireland

War on women in Ireland

 After the Easter Rising,  the Irish Republican Brotherhood,( soon to become the IRA) targeted RIC officials with violence and murder. On the suggestion of Winston Churchill, the Black and Tans were formed in 1918 to assist the RIC to get rid of the IRA, or so they thought. They roamed free looking for vengeance. They committed murder, lead a reign of terror and violence throughout Ireland. The easiest targets were women, especially in the more rural parts of Ireland. To remain secret, they  attacked after curfew dragging men and women out of their beds in the middle of the night..

Black and Tans 2Who were the Black and Tans ?

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Grosse Isle and the Great Famine

Grosse Isle and the Great Famine

Grosse Isle was another tragedy made possible from the great famine, a mass death and heartbreaking tale of desparation continued from Ireland across the sea.

Any local from Dublin will tell you there was no famine but  there was …

a potato blight which destroyed the only food the British  allowed us enough land f to grow our own food from‘ It was more of a terrible hunger,  for if not for the British shipping every morsel of food out of our own country, there would be no famine at all..”

Famine shipsSeeing no other way to survive the famine, the Irish fled to America and Canada, bringing with them the lice in their clothes that created the dreaded ship fever (typhus) . Most knew absolutely nothing about the ocean. Nothing about ship travel, or how to prepare for their journey. Many died on board as surely as they would have died of the famine. Only the healthiest survived to land in Quebec or New  York City.

What happened at Grosse Isle  In the winter of 1847?

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Ireland Away Giveaway and The Troubles

 Ireland Away Giveaway and the Troubles

The violence of the Troubles in Northern Ireland  cannot be overlooked in Irish history so this post is dedicated to that subject.

In honor of the loyal readers of Celticthoughts.com,. There are over 900 now and the numbers grow consistently day by day, I am running a giveaway in June. I will be in Ireland in July so winners will be announced upon my return.  Gifts range from Irish books set in Ireland, Irish jewelry, gifts and a very special prize from Patrick Taylor, his newest not yet published book called Only Wounded about the Troubles in Belfast by Patrick Taylor. He has graciously agreed to donate an autographed copy of his new book. To be entered into the drawing, simply comment on any post in the month of June or subscribe on the home page to Celticthoughts.com.

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An Irish Solution To An American Victory

America was built by the Irish.

I’ve said that before but did you know the grass-roots of this fine country, the very fiber of America, the existence of the American government, the life blood that makes America great is due largely in part because of Irish Revolutionary soldiers followed by a few Scots and Scots/Irish, though to be fair, many of the Scots fought for the British and there is at least one notable Irishman in the British army.

Revolution Scots Irish Without these brave Irish men, America would likely not exist, which is why George Washington (the father of America and her first general)  loved his Irish soldiers.

washington general

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Sir Josselyn Gore-Booth, One Exceptional Irish Landlord

A landlord is a man who has property or keeps lodgings to whom tenants pay a fixed rent. The operative word here is fixed, something an Irish landlord had complete will to establish as he wished, often using his immense power to do just that. Many Irish landlords were cruel and  looking to make a good buck at the expense of poor Irish peasantry but that was not always the case and one has to understand the situation of the times.

People crammed into coffin ship.

People crammed into coffin ship.

Several things contributed to the disaster so to put all the blame on landlords, perhaps is too simplistic an explanation. Not for the first time, the potato crop failed in the mid nineteenth century. This was the staple of the poor Irish diet. Along with widespread famine, all other crops were exported out of Ireland, the prices increased as well, and store houses of grain kept locked while the British government adopted a Laissez-faire doctrine of response,  creating mass hunger, misery, evictions, emigration, and for some, death. Many landlords left  their Irish estates in the hands of an estate agent, some leaving the country altogether. The estate agents had one goal and one only, to make the estate viable. Soon all landlords were grouped together as  tyrants.

Not all landlords fit into this stereotype but there with their horrible reputations, would it be that easy to trust any landlord?. Continue reading

ST Patrick, Man or Myth?

St Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland is shrouded in so many fantastical stories that one wonders if he was a man at all. The real Patrick was a simple human being who was kind, gentle, courageous, and confident in his beliefs. True, he was larger than life but not the way most people think.ST Patrick black and white

Maewyn Succat is the name given at birth to the man we know as Patrick of Ireland around the end of the 4th century. Most likely, he was born in Britain and the son of a Roman deacon named Calpornius who was also a tax collector. His grandfather was Potius during the reign of Constantine the Great, first Christian emperor of the Romans so it is easy to see how Patrick would be influenced in ‘the family business’ from an early age on. As one of Roman nobility, a station of honor and privilege, Patrick would have had hereditary privileges as well. His father would have had high hopes for his son, knowing he could one day rule over his less fortunate countrymen. Continue reading

The Matchmakers of Ireland, The Real Valentines Day

Valentine silouetteNeed a matchmaker? Everyone wants to fall in love and its been that way since the beginning of time. Nothing has changed about the desire  but what has changed is how we go about it or how often we try  and try again only to be disappointed. Ever wish there was an easier way to meet a man or woman?  For centuries, people had arranged marriages. They married for status, wealth, security or to secure peace between two separate countries. Some of those marriages actually lasted and some were very happy ones. Continue reading

Proof Pope Francis should have been a Mother

Pope Francis is my hero. For years. Catholicism ruled much of Ireland and there are those who believe it still does.  Ar least, 80% of Irish schools are still Catholic and even with history dug up from the Magalene laundries .. to priest pedophiles ..  to the power the church had to take children away from single mothers and fathers .. Catholicism still thrives today. In fact, according to the viewpoints and actions of Pope Francis,  the church has more responsibility than just making an atonement for her sins.  Continue reading