Thursday 8 December 2016

What would the women of 1916 think of us now?

Dearbhail McDonald recalls the female revolutionaries of the Rising, and asks if Irish women have fallen asleep at the revolutionary wheel

Published 10/01/2016 | 02:30

Countess Constance Markievicz, one of the first women in the world to hold a cabinet position Photo: Independent Newspapers Ireland/NLI collection
Countess Constance Markievicz, one of the first women in the world to hold a cabinet position Photo: Independent Newspapers Ireland/NLI collection

My new year doesn't officially start until January 7, the day after Nollaig na mBan, otherwise known as the feast of the Epihany, otherwise known as Women's Little Christmas.

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As a child, January 6 marked the day in our house when the tree, tinsel and seasonal excesses were torn down. It was also the day when my sisters and I pampered our mum with endless cups of tea for her efforts over Christmas whilst observing that it would, of course, have to be the one day in the year that women get to themselves, that the Three Wise Men (the Magi) chose to arrive.

As an adult, Nollaig na mBan has, for me, become a rich day of reflection, of celebration and tapping into the energies of our female ancestors whose remarkable achievements have laid the foundations for our own.

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