#OTD in 1917 – Irish suffrage campaigners expressed their delight – and surprise – at the electoral reform that passed through parliament in London with an enormous majority.

Conservatives, Liberals and Labour all say: “Don’t forget, dear lady, when the time comes, that it was I who gave you the apple”.

Mary Hayden, UCD professor and founder of the Irish Catholic Women’s Suffrage Association, has said she is delighted that so many Nationalists had voted for suffrage reform, given that some of them were known to oppose it. The vote should, she continued, help in framing legislation for the protection of children and the equalisation of laws between men and women.

Prof. Hayden said that she did not believe there should be any delay in implementing the bill. The Local Government register provided a good reference point, since women have been allowed vote in local elections for some time. She said that she disapproved of militant tactics, but that she nevertheless believed that this strategy helped bring the issues into the mainstream of practical politics.

Prof. Hayden lamented the 30-year age limit on women voting, but stated that, though imperfect, the bill was a good beginning.

Editor’s note: This is an article from Century Ireland, a fortnightly online newspaper, written from the perspective of a journalist over 100 years ago, based on news reports of the time.

Image | Punch Magazine, 27 June 1917

Punch Magazine, 27 June 1917

 

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