As Ireland prepares to mark the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising this year, the unlikely love story between a British soldier and a founding member of the women’s IRA is being retold.

Winifred Carney was a Catholic from County Down; George McBride was a Protestant from the Shankill Road in Belfast.

McBride, a member of the unionist Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF), joined the Army and survived the Battle of the Somme in 1916. 

Meanwhile, Carney helped start Cumann na mBan (League of Women), an organization otherwise known as the women's IRA. During the 1916 Easter Rising in Dublin, she was a secretary to rebel leader James Connolly and played an essential role in communicating orders.

The couple later met through their shared interest in socialism and married in 1928.

Local historian Tom Hartley told that while both Carney and McBride’s friends had difficulty dealing with the couple’s marriage, “The stories that I hear about the couple is that they were very much in love.”