Women’s impact on the Irish revolution 1914-1922, 2023
- Oil on Canvas
‘Women’s impact on the Irish revolution 1914-1922’
These portraits are female figures who made a significant contribution to this rebellion, from snipers, to soldiers, messengers, political activists, and even providing a hidden location to run the cork headquarters for IRA for 5 years out of their own shop:
Hannah Sheehy Skeffington
1914-1920 was a prominent time for the Irish rebellion against the British parliament. As an Irish woman, I am aware that there is a dearth of information about female participation in this uprising. This led me to research the establishment of Cumann na mBan and Inghinidhe na hÉireann.
Courageous women such as Countess Markovich, Ada English, and Mary MacSwiney, to name a few, rebelled, fought, and supported the free state movement. My work aims to highlight these women’s actions, recognising their contributions and roles while being aware of how they have been hidden from the limelight of our history.
The underestimation of women at the time was cleverly used to their advantage. The Wallace sisters owned a corner shop and gathered information from British Crown forces’ spies and passed on messages. The shop became the informal headquarters for the IRA in Cork.
Through the medium of oil paint on canvas, I have created a series honouring these women from a recreation of Sean Keating’s ‘Men of the South’ replacing women as the brave soldiers, but with vague facial features referencing the ways they worked and how they were seen. I also created ‘in action’ compositions derived from historical archive imagery.