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International Women’s Day

Women's History for International Women's Day

Book Cover International Women's Day

Friday March 8 is International Women’s Day and we are celebrating women’s history with three great offers on books related to women’s history and a focus on our women’s history titles which can be found here.

RRP: €45:00 – Our Price €40.00*

RRP: €19.95 – Our Price €17.95*

RRP: €15.00 – Our Price €13.50*

Kathleen Lynn

Kathleen Lynn is featuring widely in national media at the moment due to the publication of a new book “The Diaries of Kathleen Lynn”. However she has long been well known in the village of Cong, the home of the Irish History Bookshop.

Lynn was born near Killala in North Mayo in 1874, the daughter of Robert Lynn, a Church of Ireland clergyman and Catherine Wynne from Co. Sligo.She moved to Cong at the age of 12 when her father was appointed Rector of the Parish.She became a boarder at Alexandra’s College in Dublin which at the time was under the patronage of Lady Ardilaun of Ashford Castle.

Despite her comfortable background and aristocratic links (her mother was descended from Owen Wynne of Hazelwood House in Co. Sligo and she was distantly related to Countess Markiewicz), Lynn was aware of the land agitation and rural poverty around Cong at the end of the 19th century. At the time Cong was a focal point for the Land League. The parish priest Father Patrick Lavelle was a prominent Land Leaguer and author of “The Irish Landlord since the Revolution”. He hosted many political meetings in Cong and Michael Davitt and many other Land Leaguers were frequent visitors to the village at the time.

Lynn’s political views developed while she was at the Royal University of Ireland studying medicine. She became involved with a number of suffragist and nationalist organisations. After postgraduate studies in the United States she became a fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1909.

She was passed over for medical positions because of her gender but succeeded in obtaining a post at Sir Patrick Duns Hospital. Subsequently she became a resident at the Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Hospital.

During this period she became politically involved with the labour movement during the Dublin lockout. She joined the Irish Citizens Army and was Chief Medical Officer of the Irish Citizens Army during the Easter Rising.

During the Rising she was based at the City Hall but was arrested by British soldiers and detained in Dublin until June 1916 when she was deported to England. She kept a diary of the events and aftermath of the Rising which give a unique insight into the treatment of prisoners after the Rising.

Lynn returned to Ireland at the end of 1916 and re-established her medical practice as well as returning to involvement with nationalist politics. Her political activities led to a split with her father in Cong although she resolved her difficulties with her father before he died in 1923. Lynn became vice-president of Sinn Fein in 1917 and was elected to the Dail in 1923 although she did not take her seat in accordance with the abstentionist stance of the anti-treaty Sinn Fein.

Much of her later life was devoted to medical care in inner city Dublin. She co-founded St Ultan’s Hospital for Infants in 1919 and supported international research on tuberculosis eradication. She worked closely with Noel Browne on TB eradication and the National TB Vaccine Centre was set up in the grounds of St Ultans.

Kathleen Lynn died in 1955 and was given a full military funeral. She is buried in Deansgrange Cemetery, Dublin.

To commemorate the life of Kathleen Lynn and her connection to Cong, a memorial garden is being developed in the village.

More information about the life of Kathleen Lynn is available in Margaret O hOgartaigh’s book 

“Kathleen Lynn: Irishwoman, Patriot, Doctor”.

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