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20|20 Centenary: Kathleen Lynn – converted to republicanism through suffrage

A pioneering doctor and a devout Protestant, Lynn brought a feminist, socialist slant to the campaign for independence

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Friends: Countess Markiewicz and Kathleen Lynn

Friends: Countess Markiewicz and Kathleen Lynn

Friends: Countess Markiewicz and Kathleen Lynn

Kathleen Lynn was one of a number of atypical women who played an active role in both 1916 and the campaign for independence. She was a devout member of the Church of Ireland, a committed socialist and feminist and a pioneering doctor.

She was born in 1874 and in 1894 became a student at the Catholic University Medical School, the forerunner of UCD School of Medicine. While this might seem an unusual choice for the daughter of a Church of Ireland clergyman, Trinity College Dublin did not admit women at that time. There were six women in UCD’s medical school and four were Protestants.

After qualifying as a doctor in 1899, Lynn spent several years in the United States, where women-only medical schools and hospitals that were run entirely by women doctors were not uncommon.


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