Ní saoirse go saoirse na mBan!
(by Brian Moore)
The singer sings a rebel song
and everybody sings along.
Just one thing I’ll never understand:
Every damn rebel seems to be a man.
For he sings of the Bold Fenian Men
And the Boys of the Old Brigade.
What about the women who stood there too
“When history was made”?
Ireland, Mother Ireland, with your freedom loving sons,
Did your daughters run and hide at the sound of guns?
Or did they have some part in the fight
And why does everybody try to keep them out of sight?
For they sing of the Men of the West
And the Boys of Wexford too.
Were there no women living round those parts;
Tell me, what did they do?
Image: Front and centre is Lily Kempson, who served with Cumann na mBan during the Easter Rising. Lily was a trade union activist, a lecturer, leader, fighter and mother of seven children with her husband Matthew McAlerney. At the time of her death in 1996, she was a grandmother of five. Colourised by My Colorful Past