Irish women have played huge roles in uprisings, politics and literature since time immemorial, going back as far as Queen Maeve of Connacht. To mark International Women’s Day we’ve put together some of our favorite quotes from some seriously badass Irish women.
1. “Dress suitably in short skirts and sitting boots, leave your jewels and gold wands in the bank, and buy a revolver.”
- Countess Markievicz’s advice to female rebels thinking of taking up arms in 1916.
2. “I have always hated war and am by nature and philosophy a pacifist, but it is the English who are forcing war on us, and the first principle of war is to kill the enemy.”
- Countess Markievicz again.
3. “It has been said here on several occasions that Padraig Pearse would have accepted this Treaty. I deny it. As his mother I deny it, and on his account I will not accept it. Neither would his brother Willie accept it, because his brother was part and parcel of him.”
- Mrs. Margaret Pearse mother of 1916 leader Patrick Pearse.
4. “I saw my husband in his cell for ten minutes. During the interview the cell was packed with officers and a sergeant, who kept a watch in his hand and closed the interview by saying, 'Your ten minutes is now up.'”
- Grace Gifford Plunkett on her “Honeymoon” meeting with her new husband, Joseph Mary Plunkett, shortly after their wedding and hours before he was executed at Kilmainham Gaol.
5. “To gain that which is worth having, it may be necessary to lose everything else.”
- “The Price of My Soul” by Bernadette Devlin, Irish civil rights leader.
6. “The vote means nothing to women. We should be armed.”
- Who else but the formidable Edna O’Brien.
7. “What pisses me off is when I’ve got seven or eight record company fat pig men sitting there telling me what to wear.”
- Sinead O’Connor.
8. “Above all else, deep in my soul, I’m a tough Irishwoman.”
- Actress, Maureen O’Hara.
9. “The usual masculine disillusionment is discovering that a woman has a brain.”
– Margaret Mitchell, Author of "Gone With the Wind".
10. “I asked a man in prison once how he happened to be there and he said he had stolen a pair of shoes. I told him if he had stolen a railroad he would be a United States Senator.”
- Mary Harris “Mother” Jones.
Source: “The Little Green Book of Irish Wisdom” by Dermot McEvoy