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MacSwiney, Mary (1872–1942)

MacSwiney, Mary (1872–1942)

Irish politician. Born Mar 27, 1872, in Surrey, England; died Mar 7, 1942; dau. of John MacSwiney and Mary Wilkinson; sister of Annie MacSwiney, Sean MacSwiney (TD) and Terence MacSwiney (lord mayor of Cork).

Began career as a secondary schoolteacher; was a founder member of Inghinidhe na héireann and Cumann na mBan (1914–33), serving as 1st president (Cork) and national vice-president; dismissed from teaching after arrest and imprisonment for national activities (1916); joined the women's suffrage movement and Sinn Féin (1917); was a pioneer of the language revival movement in Cork; following death of brother Terence from a hunger strike, replaced him in the 2nd Dáil (parliament) for Cork (1921); was appointed 1 of 12 members of Éamon de Valera's Council of State (1922); imprisoned but released after a hunger strike (1922); was an anti-Treaty abstentionist in 3rd and 4th Dáil (1922–27); espoused Republican cause until her death.

See also Charlotte H. Fallon Soul of Fire: A Biography of Mary MacSwiney (Mercier, 1986).

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