Clare, Anne  

Unlikely Rebels: The Gifford Girls


The Gifford sisters, Grace (later Plunkett), Muriel (later MacDonagh), Nellie (later Donnelly), and Sydney (later Czira) were key figures in the Republican struggle during the 1916 period. This is their story.


Grace Gifford is one of the tragic stories of the 1916 Easter Rising, but the poignancy of her brief marriage to the executed rebel leader Joseph Mary Plunkett has tended to overshadow her family's deep commitment to the cause of the Irish Republic. Grace was the second youngest of twelve children. Despite coming from a strongly unionist background and being raised in the Protestant faith, the Gifford sisters became heavily involved with the republican Irish movement and with the fight for Irish freedom. Both in Ireland and in America they supported the republican cause, despite the heartache and difficulties this caused them.


This fascinating book tells the stories of the four sisters in the context of their time, with a light touch that belies the depth of detail involved. 


To find out more about the author, Anne Clare, click here.





ISBN 9781856357128

About the Author

Anne Clare graduated with an MA in English from UCD in 1960 and was a verbatim reporter for the Referee and Advisory Committee who determined claims under the IRA (Pension) Acts. She then became a teacher and worked in Wesley College, in Skerries Holy Faith Convent and finally in St Marys Secondary School, Holy Faith Convent, Glasnevin until retirement.


'It is a well told and touching tale of how five sisters defied their unionist heritage to fight  for the nationalist cause'
- Evening Echo

'The real strength of this book is showing the human price paid for the struggle of Independence'
- The Irish Story - To read the full review please click here.


'A fascinating read...this book tells the stories of the sisters in the context of their time, with a light touch that belies the depth of detail'
- Ireland's Own


'One of the most poignant moments in the whole story of the Easter Insurrection is the marriage of Joseph Plunkett and his fiancée Grace Gifford in Kilmainhaim Gaol. It is a moment that seems to encapsulate the pain, the passion and the self-sacrifice that many see as characterising that epoch-making moment in Irish history'

- Irish Catholic


'...for those who want to know about ''rebel'' Irish women'

- Irish Times Weekend Review