Thursday, September 02, 2010
Maud Gonne and the Daughters of Ireland
From 1916: The 1916 Rising, Personalities and Perspectives, an online exhibition by the National Library of Ireland:
Maud Gonne’s most notable contribution was to the establishment in April 1900 of Inghinidhe na hÉireann (Daughters of Ireland). The organisation was solely for women and adopted Saint Brigid as patron. Its agenda was political, social and feminist: it opposed the Irish Parliamentary Party and Home Rule, opting instead for full independence, but supported the Irish-Ireland movement, the concepts of self reliance preached by Sinn Féin, free meals in schools and women’s suffrage. It organised programmes of distinctively Irish cultural activities and promoted national self awareness. From 1908 onwards it published Bean na hÉireann (‘Irishwoman’), a nationalist womens’ journal. In 1914 Inghinidhe na hÉireann was absorbed into Cumann na mBan, the women’s auxiliary of the Irish Volunteers, although some trades union members then opted to join the Irish Citizen Army. In its time, Inghinidhe na hÉireann helped to politicise a generation of Irish women, many of whom afterwards participated in the 1916 Rising.