Easter 1916 Rising Commemorations, Dublin - photo credit - A Ryan

Easter 1916 Rising Commemorations, Dublin – photo credit – A Ryan (Flickr)

In 2016, Ireland celebrated the 100th anniversary of one of the most defining periods of Irish history – the 1916 Easter Rising.

But there is a group of people who tend to be left out of the celebrations and the rousing choruses of Irish rebellion. A group who were stationed at the barracks, went without sleep or food and who risked their lives alongside those heroic men and their well-worn rifles – women.

The brave women who joined the Irish Citizen Army and Cumann na mBan to fight for their freedom. But despite their courage, over the years, these women have been overlooked and shoved aside as unimportant to the battle.

In this documentary, the role of the women in the Rising is examined as are the reasons for why they have been pushed aside. It includes expert historical opinion and a personal story of a family of one of those formidable ladies who played a role in the birth of the Republic.

 

 

The President of Cumann na mBan, Eithne Ní Chumhaill, gave  a speech to the Dublin members of the group in 1933 and spoke of the importance of the women during the revolution of Ireland and how they were right there in the firing line along with the men risking their lives. She said:

“(Pádraig Pearse) briefly thanked (the women) for their great help during the week and said that when the history of that fight would be written the foremost page in the annals should be given to the women of Dublin who had taken their place in the fight for the establishment of an Irish Republic.

He told them that by their presence there they had inspired the men of the Irish Volunteers with hope and courage and without that inspiration they could not hold out so long against such overwhelming odds.”