Cumann na mBan in Clare, 1916-1923

Houlihan, Margaret
Cumann na mBan was founded in 1914 as an auxiliary force to the Volunteers. However, not until recently has the true value of their activity been appreciated. The decade of centenaries saw the publication of many books about women, whose role in the revolutionary period, starting with the Rising, was relatively unknown. As well as these books the Military Archives’ continuous digital release of pensions applications, has revealed even further the part played by women in the revolution. The role Cumann na mBan played in this period had become lost or overshadowed. However, these publications and digital releases have triggered the realization that women played a bigger part in achieving the independence of Ireland than was acknowledged before now. Consequently, it is possible to delve into the question of what Clare Cumann na mBan contributed to the struggle. This study has probed hundreds of Clare women’s pensions’ applications. Clare Cumann na mBan’s involvement in every element of the struggle during the revolutionary period was revealed. This started with the East Clare by-election in 1917, continuing with the anti-Conscription Campaign in 1918 and continuing through the War of Independence and the Civil War thus providing a more rounded picture of the conflict. The bravery and ingenuity shown by these women is remarkable. This study aims to place Clare Cumann na mBan in their rightful place – at the heart of the revolution.
NUI Galway
Publisher DOI
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Ireland