Irish Women And The Vote, Becoming Citizens; Louise Ryan & Margaret Ward
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This landmark book, reissued with a new foreword to mark the centenary of Irish women being granted the right to vote, is the first comprehensive analysis of the Irish suffrage movement from its mid-nineteenth-century beginnings to when feminist militancy exploded on the streets of Dublin and Belfast in the early twentieth century. Younger, more militant suffragists took their cue from their British counterparts, two of whom travelled to Ireland to throw a hatchet into the carriage of Prime Minister Herbert Asquith on O'Connell Bridge in 1912 (missing him but grazing Home Rule leader John Redmond, who was in the same carriage; both politicians opposed giving women the Vote). Despite such dramatic publicity, and other non-violent campaigning, women s suffrage was a minority interest in an Ireland more concerned with the issue of gaining independence from Britain. The particular complexity of the Irish struggle is explored with new perspectives on unionist and nationalist suffragists and the conflict between Home Rule and suffragism, campaigning for the vote in country towns, life in industrial Belfast, conflicting feminist views on the First World War, and the suffragist uncovering of sexual abuse and domestic violence, as well as the pioneering use of hunger strike as a political tool. The ultimate granting of the franchise in 1918 represented the end of a long-fought battle by Irish women for the right to equal citizenship, and the beginning of a new Ireland that continues to debate the rights and equality of its female citizens.