Matthews, Ann  

Renegades Irish Republican Women 1900-1922


Examines the role and experiences of the women of Cumann na mBan and the Irish Citizens Army, who marched out with the Rebels to challenge the might of the British Empire on Easter Monday 1916.

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Renegades is a comprehensive account of the tragedies, triumphs, politics and conflicts experienced by Irish women during the country's War of Independence and Civil War. It will shock and possibly disturb any with romanticised views of their role in this period of Irish history because the reality of the abuse of women within the general population by both sides in both Wars is absent in most histories of the period. But this war on women, which manifested itself in the form of physical and sexual assaults, meant that many women suffered a terror that was not confined to armed conflict.


The book also explores the separation of republican women during the Irish War of Independence and Civil War into two distinct groups. Cumann na mBan members perceived their role to be purely military and so they did not engage in politics. On the other hand the political women, who by this time perceived themselves as the female political elite, were proactive in pursuit of a significant position in Irish politics, especially when the Sinn Féin party was reformed in October 1917.




To find out more about Ann Matthews, click here.






ISBN 9781856356848

About The Author

Ann Matthews is a historian. Originally, from Dublin she now lives in Kildare. She currently lectures at NUI Maynooth on Women and War and Republican women and iconography. She has contributed to The Journal of Irish Military History and The Irish Archive Journal among others.She has also contributed chapters to The Impact of the 1916 Rising: Among the Nations, (ed) Ruan O Donnell (2008) and Associational Culture in Ireland and Abroad (eds) Jennifer Kelly R.V Comerford Eds) (2010). She is the author of Renegades (2010) and The Kimmage Garrison 1916: Making Billy Can-Bombs at Larkfield (2010).


'An incredibly comprehensive picture of the tragedies, triumphs and conflicts experienced by Irish women during Ireland's struggle for independence and later Civil War'

- Irish Emigrant

'(Ann Matthews) asks whether they were responsible for their own demise in the political arena, leaving future generations of Irish women without a foundation on which to build'

- Evening Echo

'(Ann Matthews) merits a study in her own right as she proved to be a pioneering figure in achieving success through the benefits of adult education'

- Evening Herald

'Matthews has gone some way towards restoring the women of the republican movement to the prominent place they deserve in our history'

- Ireland's Own