The narrative of the Irish revolution as a chronology of great men and male militarism, with women presumed to have either played a subsidiary role or no role at all, requires reconsideration. Women and feminists were extremely active in Irish revolutionary causes from 1912 onwards, but ultimately it was the men as revolutionary ‘leaders’ who took all the power and the credit after independence. Women from a wide variety of backgrounds were activists in significant numbers and women across Ireland were profoundly impacted by the rampant violence and tumult of the era, but they were subsequently relegated to the private sphere, with the memory of their vital political and military role in the revolution forgotten and erased.
Women and the Irish Revolution examines diverse aspects of women’s experiences in the revolution after the Easter Rising. The complex role of women as activists, the detrimental impact of violence, and the social and political divisions on women, the crucial part played by women in the foundation of the new State, and dynamics of remembrance and forgetting are explored by leading scholars in sociology, history, politics, and literary studies. Important, illuminating and timely, and featuring previously unpublished material, this book will inspire essential new public conversations on the experiences of women in the Irish revolution.