Women's Involvement in the Irish Easter Uprising of 1916

"Invisible Women" by Brian Moore

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 ... ?


-----appears in Ruth Taillon's The Women of 1916
This web page will attempt to explore exactly what the poem questions: how did Irish women participate in the Easter Uprising of 1916?  Although much of history has forgotten them, women played a major role in the insurrections against the British occupation of Ireland, and the fight for independence.  The various links below offer some facts about women's involvement in the Uprising, as well as a bibliography of sources on the topic for the scholar who wishes to find out more.  So please follow the links, and enjoy a journey into the lives of true feminist heroines - the women of 1916.

Women's Involvement in the Uprising: an Overview


Women's Profiles

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