Women’s Suffrage and Edna Purtell

Women’s Suffrage

Women on Different Continents fighting for a common cause.

Both Eva Gore Booth and Edna Purtell and others like them fought for women’s rights but in different ways and 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. They wrote letters, created posters and banners, and gave speeches. Had anyone listened though? Anyone that could give women the vote which would help them change their circumstances.

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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Roger Casement, the forgotten hero

The Story of Roger Casement, Part I

One man recanted what he wrote about Casement years later

Roger Casement is best known for his ‘Black Diaries’ which in my opinion have overshadowed the history of his  previous life in the British government as a humanitarian.   A man respected and loved by family and friends, he was not abandoned at his trial as the media and history books would have us believe.

In fact one man recanted what he wrote about Casement years later. Unfortunately, it came too late and Casement was executed. The real Casement story takes place years before the Easter Rising. He deserves more notoriety showing his contributions to his country and to society.Roger Casement

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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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Political Facts about Easter Rising

Political Facts About the Easter Rising

Part I

Irish Men and Irish Women / Political Statements

1. The  Irish Proclamation of the independence, (the first official political document of the Republic) addresses Irish women as well as men.

, ‘ IRISHMEN AND IRISHWOMEN: in the name of God and of the dead generations from which she receives her old tradition of nationhood, Ireland, through us, summons her children to her flag and strikes for her freedom.

The document was read for the first time on April 24th, 1916 by Patrick Pearse.

Women continued to play a role in politics as well as rebellion, notably Constance Markievicz, Hanna Sheehy Skeffington, and Kathleen Lynn who was a doctor.

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10 Fun Quotes about the Easter Rising

10 Fun Quotes from The Easter Rebellion

Part 2

 Inside the GPO by Joe Good is both a personal and fun read. It actually reads like a novel so if you want something historical that is both accurate and enjoyable continue reading for some Excerpts from the book………….

Book Inside the GPO Continue reading

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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Irish Pride I Learned From My Father

My father was extremely proud of being Irish, though I would learn later, our family was  also  part Polish with a smattering of Russian in the pot. See my post on the Polish Jews in Ireland.  Polish is one of the most popular languages in Ireland right now, with many traffic signs in both English and Polish. Though my father would never admit to being anything but Irish, it wasn’t our Irishness that he instilled in me but something more valuable: that one is worthy, no mater what anyone tells you. Though the Irish disease consumed my father in the end, he was an intelligent proud man. He could answer every trivia question on Jeopardy, something I find, even now, astonishing. I’m lucky to get one answer right on this highly competitive game show,Americans K Conflict where only the most brilliant  are allowed to participate.

My father was also in the army, during the Korean Conflict; it was a war not categorized as important but many of his friends unfortunately met their doom, most having no knowledge of why they were in Korea in the first place. Politics! The Vietnam Conflict was more of the same. Continue reading

Interesting Facts About the American Revolution

Fourth JulyWhat lead America to rebel against British rule? Not any one thing, though the Colonists did perceive many of King George’s taxes to be extremely unfair, so unjust in fact that some lost their homes and property. The British did the same thing in Ireland and other parts of the world. In fact it was after Benjamin Franklin visited Ireland and saw the deplorable poverty, he became more convinced that the only way to deal with England was through brute force. Continue reading

The Irish Americans who built America

In Ireland, St. Patrick’s Day is a Catholic holy day of obligation.  Patrick, the boy slave who became a saint and bishop, wasn’t even Irish, yet St. Patrick’s Day is all about Ireland and its culture. Why is it so huge in the United States?

It’s true the Irish and also Irish Americans have made contributions to the United States almost since our country’s inception, but did you know when Christopher Columbus made his claim to the New World, the first one of his crew to step on North American soil was an Irishman by the name of Patrick Maguire?

Henry Ford was Irish American,  the son of an Irish emigrant father. Henry Ford’s father, William, immigrated to the United States in 1847, an era in history referred to as ‘the great famine years.’ One of Ford’s most successful cars, the Ford Fairlane, was named for his Irish heritage. On the last night in Ireland his then twenty one year old father and family spent the night in a cottage in Fair Lane, off Fair Hill in County Cork. William’s mother, Thomasina is listed as being born in one of those cottages.  Unfortunately like many of the Irish seeking a better life in America, she did not survive her journey and died in the crossing from Ireland to the United States.  Her grandson Henry is credited with revolutionizing industry by creating the first mass produced automobile.

As America grew, she needed strong men to build bridges, canals and railroads. Many Irishmen threw themselves into this back-breaking work. Some paid with their lives in one of the most dangerous of occupations of the time, railroad worker.  A common expression of the day was “an Irishman is buried under every tie.”

Irish soldiers fought alongside Americans in the Revolutionary War, both sides of the Civil War, and every war after that.

In 1780 George Washington commanded Irish soldiers in the War of Independence. In gratitude for their service he granted them a holiday on March 17th.  This became known as The St. Patrick’s Day Encampment of 1780.

When the Declaration of Independence was signed eight men were of Irish descent. Matthew Thornton, George Taylor and James Smith were born in Ireland and George Read, Thomas McKean, Thomas Lynch Jr. Edward Rutledge and Charles Carroll were sons or grandsons of Irish immigrants. The Irish American secretary Charles Thompson also signed.

Irish Americans also signed the Constitution of the United States.

The Irish Brigade, so called the “Fighting 69th” fought in the Civil War in some of the bloodiest battles ever fought. They never gave up their tattered flag, leading Abraham Lincoln to visit General Thomas Francis Meagher, known as “Meager of the Sword” and kiss the Second Colors in appreciation.

Both Meager and Patrick Kennedy, (great grandfather of United States President, John F. Kennedy) were from County Waterford, Ireland.  John F. Kennedy also served in the military before becoming president.

And speaking of presidents, ten of our U. S presidents had Irish roots. They are Andrew Jackson, James K. Polk, James Buchanan, Ulysses S. Grant, William McKinley, Woodrow Wilson, John F Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and Bill Clinton.

While it’s true St. Patrick’s Day may be a beer drinking, parade walking, shamrock float and balloon festival we cannot forget the Irish Americans who helped build America and in the Gaelic words of the Irish Fusiliers of 1798 and many Irish Brigades after them, “Faugh A Ballagh.” In English it means, “Clear the Way,” for that is what they did for all of us.