‘It was the Presentation nuns who made a rebel of me’: Women religious and Ireland’s Revolutionary Era

Sophie Cooper

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Abstract

This article explores the interconnections between female religious orders and nationalist activity of the Irish Revolutionary Era (1912-23) arguing that they played important roles in the Revolutionary Era both in facilitating engagement with nationalist ideas and in supporting revolutionary activity itself. Female members of religious orders are simultaneously visible and invisible within the historical record of the revolution. In this article, Bureau of Military History witness statements are used to consider the myriad connections between republican activities and female religious orders, both explicit and unconscious. It does not seek to make pronouncements on the republican views and actions of women religious generally. Instead, it highlights examples to prompt further investigation into the intersections of nationalist activity and female Catholic religious orders during the founding and early years of the Irish Free State. This article begins the process of adding women religious into the study of Ireland’s Revolutionary Era. In doing so, it presents an original perspective to the study of women and the Catholic Church during the Irish Revolution.
Original languageEnglish
JournalWomen's History Review
Early online date22 Jan 2022
DOIs
Publication statusEarly online date - 22 Jan 2022

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