Annual Meeting and Talent Show

The IAS Annual Meeting was held on June 5 at Brookhaven Country Club.

The following officers were sworn in for the fiscal year July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2017:

Co-Presidents Cynthia McDonald & Sheila Balagna
Co-VicePresidents Kathy Moore & Sharon O’Rourke
Treasurer Donna Petri
Secretary Kristen Giard

Following the meeting, Tim Kennedy presented a talent show which including members of the IAS and the School of Irish Music.

With sadness we remember Paul Delahunty, who entertained us with songs at previous talent.

Talent Show 2016

Talent Show 2016

Talent Show 2016

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Cumann na mBan – Elizabeth O’Farrell

Born in Dublin in 1884, Elizabeth O’Farrell joined both the Inghinidhe na hÉireann and the Cumann na mBan.  She is recognized for her part in the surrender process of the Rising.

As plans were put in place for the Easter Rising of April 1916, Elizabeth and her friend Julia Grenan were sent around the country as couriers delivering important information.  On Easter Monday the ladies were present in the General Post Office in Dublin.  As the casualties were brought to the GPO, Elizabeth and Julia tended to the wounded.  Both Elizabeth and Julia remained when the order came to evacuate the GPO.

When Pádraig Pearse made the decision to surrender on April 29, Elizabeth O’Farrell, wearing a red-cross uniform, walked up Moore Street to a British army barricade carrying a white flag, where she was to meet with General Lowe.  Her mission was to request talks between the rebels and the British.  Later she delivered Pearse’s surrender orders to various IRA outposts around Dublin, telling them to lay down their arms and line up on O’Connell Street.

Even though General Lowe gave O’Farrell assurance that she would not be taken prisoner due to her part in organizing the surrender of the rebels, O’Farrell was held overnight at Ship Street Barracks.  Lowe had her released when he heard of the imprisonment.


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Cumann na Mban –Margaret Skinnider

Born in Scotland to immigrant parents from Monaghan, Margaret Skinnider became involved in the women’s suffrage movement. In 1914 she joined the Glasgow branches of the Irish Volunteers and Cumann na mBan.  She became a first class shot while a part of the women’s rifle club.

The Countess Markievicz invited Skinnider to Dublin at Christmas 1915, wherein she smuggled detonators into Ireland by concealing them in her hat. Margaret joined the Irish Citizen Army and used her mathematical skills to draw up detailed plans for weapon raids.

When the Irish Boy Scout movement, Fianna Éireann organized excursions, she participated, claiming she could pass for a boy, even in wrestling or whistling, and her ability to disguise herself as a man.

Serving in the ICA’s St. Stephen’s Green contingent, she argued for equal rights for women.  Under the command of Michael Mallin, he rejected her plan to hurl a bomb from a passing bicycle into the British-occupied Shelbourne Hotel, as being too dangerous for a woman.  Her point was that as women we’re equal with men under the Irish Republic, and had an equal right to risk their lives.

On Wednesday 26th April, she bravely led a sortie of five men in an effort to prevent the retreat of a British sniper party and was shot and critically wounded. She slowly recovered and managed to evade arrest through the intervention of the hospital’s head doctor.  With her Scottish accent, Skinnider deceived the authorities, and was allowed to return to Glasgow.

In 1925 Margaret applied for a pension, but despite her injuries and involvement, she was denied because the law was “applicable to soldiers as generally understood in the masculine sense”.  After repeated rejections, her pension application was finally approved in 1938.

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Cumann na mBan – Jennie Wyse Power

Jennie Wyse Power joined the Ladies Land League in the 1880s, quickly finding a nitch in activities during the Land War. She compiled lists of those evicted from their homes, and went on to organize chapters in Wicklow and Carlow.

Politically active, she helped set up the Irish Women’s Franchise League, and also became a founding member of Inghinidhe na hÉireann and Sinn Féin, as well as Vice-President of both organizations. Jennie was on the Provisional Committee that set up Cumann na mBan, becoming president in 1914.

She became one of the most important women of the revolution. The 1916 Proclamation was written in her home at 21 Henry Street.  When discussing the Proclamation, she always maintained that the seven Military Council signed in no particular order with the exception of James Connolly who was eager to be the first to sign. Although it involved considerable risk, Jennie supplied food to the Volunteers of the Rising.

After the Rising, Jennie and her daughter, Nancy, were tireless in their efforts to reorganize the Cumann na mBan, She distributed funds to families suffering hardships, as well as the Prisoners Dependants Fund, money for which had been provided by the Clan na Gael in the United States.

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