For many female veterans of the Irish revolution (1916–1923), writing about the self was a difficult and even risky venture. In this context, did fiction grant more authorial freedom than first-person testimony? This article considers the testimonial fiction of three female revolutionaries that addresses the practice of hunger striking: Dorothy Macardle’s short story ‘The Prisoner’ (1924), Máiréad Ní Ghráda’s play Stailc Ocrais [Hunger Strike] (1966) and Máirín Cregan’s play Hunger-strike: A Play in Two Acts (1932). The article unpacks the conditions which governed the production of female ‘voice’ in the socially conservative post-revolutionary Free State and outlines the self-protective and enabling narrative strategies adopted by these authors in order to delve into one of the more contentious aspects of the period. The article thus highlights how revolutionary veterans exploited fiction to record and negotiate personal, affective past experience and also to produce counter-memories in opposition to official remembrance.