Dáil debates

Tuesday, 13 July 2021

Ceisteanna - Questions

Departmental Programmes

3:35 pm

Photo of Mary Lou McDonaldMary Lou McDonald (Leader of the Opposition; Dublin Central, Sinn Fein) | Oireachtas source

Sunday's National Day of Commemoration remembered all those killed during the Tan War and marked the anniversary, as the Taoiseach said, of the Truce. The all-party decade of centenaries advisory group has met just twice online. This group needs to be facilitated in playing a much more proactive role in developing a complete, and I would suggest more grassroots and community-driven, schedule of events. I state that because this period in our history will benefit from not just a broad consultation with all political traditions, which is of course very important, but from the widest possible community and civic participation.

We must do better in commemorating women. At a young age, Margaret Keogh was a member of Cumann na mBan and she was shot dead in her home in Stella Gardens, Ringsend, 100 years ago during a series of raids by the Black and Tans. Margaret was the captain of her camogie club, a passionate trade unionist and a Gaeilgeoir. She died of her wounds the morning after the Truce and was buried in Glasnevin with full military honours. Her coffin was carried by uniformed members of Cumann na mBan. Margaret was the only woman to die on active service during the Tan War. A commemorative plaque has been erected on her street but the fact remains that the revolutionary role of women in the fight for Irish freedom remains largely ignored and unsung. Cumann na mBan is not fully celebrated or remembered, be it in terms of structures or events. In this centenary year, we must change that. As the previous speaker said, it is truly never too late to do the right thing.

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