Recognition for Cumann Na mBan role as 100th anniversary approaches

A number of roads, public buildings, parks and bridges in Co Cork could soon be named after members of Cumann Na mBan.

The County Council is planning the move to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the founding of the organisation, which saw thousands of women risk their lives in the struggle for independence.

The idea was proposed by Cllr Aindrias Moynihan (FF) who said as the centenary of Cumann Na mBan’s foundation was on Apr 2, “it was fitting and appropriate that the council recognise the role of women in Irish life and those of Cumann Na mBan who played such a vital role in the struggle for independence”. His proposal found widespread cross-party support for his motion to honour the organisation’s members whose primary aims were to ‘advance the cause of Irish liberty and to organise Irish women in the furtherance of this object’.

Mr Moynihan said many women risked their lives by helping to move or conceal weapons, acting as dispatch riders and carrying out dangerous intelligence work.

Some, most notably Constance Markievicz, were armed and shot people during the Easter Rising.

“This council has a whole swathe of unnamed buildings, parks, roads etc. There are plenty of opportunities where we could take steps to recognise the role they played,” he said.

Cllr John O’Sullivan (FG) agreed, but said it would be better to wait until after May’s local elections and let newly elected councillors in the new municipal districts decide whose names should be recognised.

However, Cllr Moynihan said it should be organised before April’s anniversary.

Cllr Dan Fleming (FF) agreed and both he and Cllr Noel Buckley (FG) said much of the women’s work had gone unnoticed.

Cllr Ronan Sheehan (Lab) said it might be better to name streets and estates after them instead of some of the names being currently used.

The Mayor of County Cork, Cllr Noel O’Connor, decided one of the council’s special purposes committees would look at ways which Mr Moynihan’s request could be implemented.

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