Women of 1916 airbrushed out of history
[..] what is most important is O’Connell st is littered with statues of men, that there be a memorial to the women of ‘16, not just ‘16 but the women who fell for Irish freedom[..] the women’s role is most important to me, I read the tragic stories of these women, what they sacrificed, these historians and the people who wrote these stories, they played the game and wrote these women out of it [..]
They lay side by side, when they were getting shelled, these people were beside these men, whatever work they were doing, if you look at the reports, some of them were lying on their stomachs, holding the rifles and shoving them back the whole lot, they were fighting alongside them and to be wrote out of history is an appalling injustice.
Those women were held in the same cells in Kilmainham that the men of 16 were in and some of their husbands were in the cells and their boyfriends. Take for instance Grace Gifford you know. Then the Free State says we better get those women out of Kilmainham but they don’t want to move out of Kilmainham they went in with darkened faces and pulled some of the women by the backs of the hair and pulled them down the steps of the prison and loaded them into lorries and took them up to the North Dublin Union it was in May they were taken up there that May it started to snow and some of those women were actually sitting in the yard of the Dublin Union with blankets around them and snow coming down. They were great. I think one or two escaped.
An interview with Terry Fagan Source
77 women were arrested and imprisoned after the Rising, but most were released within 10 days.
This story by Michael Barry tells of how one woman, Elizabeth O’Farrell, a messenger between Republican leader Pearse and British General Lowe during the surrender, was literally airbrushed out of history.