Cumann na mBan - 100 years on
Cumann na mBan was formed in Dublin on April 2nd, 1914, as a women’s nationalist organisation which would work alongside the Irish Volunteers formed in 1913. The aims of Cumann na mBan (the Irish Women’s Council), as set out at the time in membership booklets, were:
- To advance the cause of Irish liberty
- To organise Irishwomen in furtherance of this object
- To assist in arming and equipping a body of Irishmen for the defence of Ireland
- To form a fund for these purposes to be called “The Defence of Ireland Funds”
A number of events took place to mark the centenary of the foundation of the organisation, including a State commemoration ceremony in Glasnevin Cemetery, which was attended by President Michael D Higgins and Arts Minister Jimmy Deenihan. A plaque was unveiled at Wynn's Hotel in Dublin, which was the venue for the inaugural meeting of Cumann na mBan.
Minister Deenihan lays a wreath at the State commemoration ceremony to mark the centenary of the foundation of Cumann na mBan in Glasnevin Cemetery
Cumann na mBan cyclist corps
Minister Deenihan commented:
The role of women in the momentous events leading up to the Easter Rising of 1916 is often overlooked. However, women were a huge force behind the historic developments that took place in Ireland from 1912 to the foundation of the Irish Free State.The foundation of Cumann na mBan was an decisive moment. The organisation, which within 6 months had 60 branches across Ireland, is associated with many of the leading female figures of the time. During the Rising, members of Cumann na mBan – who were drawn from all walks of life – risked life and limb to travel throughout Dublin delivering messages, food, and medical supplies. A number of members also took an active part in the fighting.For more information on the commemoration events click here.