During the Centenary of Celebrations, the essential work of Cumann na mBan in the fight for freedom must be remembered. So says Aontú candidate for Cork North West, Beck Kealy, who took part in a commemoration of Cumann na mBan, organised by Fiannaidhe Chorcaigh, where the role of female freedom fighters was remembered.
Ms Kealy said it was an important moment to give thanks to the women whose struggles for Irish Independence 100 years ago gave us our freedom today.
“Organised by Fiannaidhe Chorcaighe, of the Cork Fenian Society, we gathered at the Old Women’s Gaol to honour the sacrifices of these brave women to see Ireland free once more,” she said.
“Alongside my party colleague Joanne Murphy, we laid wreaths whilst Lorraine Deane gave a beautiful speech on their heroism, the heroism upon which our freedom today rests. Founded in 1914, what Cumann na mBan fought for endures till this day,” the Aontú representative said. She added that reunification was a goal of Cumann na mBan which should be honoured.
Lorraine Deane told the Commemoration that 200 women took up arms and fought in the Easter Rising of 1916 many of
whom were members of Cumann na mBan.
“Cumann na mBan were in the coalface of the Irish freedom from the outset, at great sacrifice,” Ms Kealy said. “After playing a crucial part in the 1916 Rising, 77 women of Cumann na mBan were interned in Kilmainham Gaol. During the War of Independence meanwhile, women hid arms, provided safe houses, and helped fuel the fires of resistance. The stories of their bravery, testament to their love of Ireland and their service to their country should be remembered.”
She pointed out that eight Cumann na mBan women – Josephine McGowan, Margaret Keogh, Margaret McAnaney, Margaret McElduff, Mary Hartney, Lily Bennett, Margaret Dunne, Annie Hogan – lost their lives in pursuit of Irish freedom. “Let us never take for granted the freedoms and privileges we enjoy, fought and died for by the brave women of Cumann na mBan.” Ms Kealy said.