Sunday 4 December 2016

Brave rebels turned into doe-eyed girls fighting over men

Our Rebellion heroines were manna from heaven for script writers, so what on earth happened to their stories?

Published 10/01/2016 | 02:30

Rebellion: Charlie Murphy as Elizabeth, Ruth Bradley as Frances and Sarah Greene as May Photo: Patrick Redmond
Rebellion: Charlie Murphy as Elizabeth, Ruth Bradley as Frances and Sarah Greene as May Photo: Patrick Redmond

Our female heroes of 1916 put up with a lot. The Irish State wouldn't pay their pensions because the law recognised soldiers in the 'masculine' sense, Eamon De Valera refused them permission to fight at his post during the Rising - much to his detriment (his post didn't hold up as well as others) - and for the next 100 years they were systematically written out of history by their own.

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Fast forward to 2016 and one good thing to come from the centenary celebrations is the recognition they deserve.

Femme fatales, such as Lily O' Connor who mastered the dark arts of firing to pick off the enemy; sniper Margaret Skinnider, who donned the dark greens of the ICA uniform to take pot shots from the Royal College of Surgeons before pulling on a dress and cycling into the city to pass messages to comrades; and Countess Markievicz, who was second-in-command at the fight on St Stephens Green. She kissed her revolver before handing it over upon surrender.

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