From Countess Markievicz to Maureen O'Hara, these are famous quotes from some seriously inspiring Irish women.
Irish women have played huge roles in uprisings, politics, and literature since time immemorial, going back as far as Queen Maeve of Connacht. We’ve put together some of our favorite quotes from some seriously inspiring Irish women:
“It has been said here on several occasions that Pádraig 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 (Pádraig) Pearse.
“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.
“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.
“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.”
“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.
“The vote means nothing to women. We should be armed.”
- Who else but the formidable Edna O’Brien.
“What pisses me off is when I’ve got seven or eight record company fat pig men sitting there telling me what to wear.”
- Singer, Sinead O’Connor.
“Above all else, deep in my soul, I’m a tough Irishwoman.”
- Actress, Maureen O’Hara.
“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.”
- Activist, Mary Harris “Mother” Jones.
Source: “The Little Green Book of Irish Wisdom” by Dermot McEvoy.
Which Irish woman inspires you? Let us know in the comments!
* Originally published in 2013, updated in March 2023.