Irish Revolutionary Women and the Wider World

Tuesday, 12 February, at 8.15pm in the Officers’ Mess, Custume Barracks

Talk by Dr Kate O’Malley

Ireland, India and Empire

Summary In the aftermath of the Easter Rising and the Irish Revolution, the Irish struggle for independence was watched closely by nationalists in other parts of the British Empire, most notably India. Indian nationalists such as Gandhi, Nehru and Bose took an interest in Ireland, and nationalists in Ireland took an interest in India. This lecture will look at three revolutionary women, all friends, all veterans of the post-1916 independence struggle: Maud Gonne MacBride, Charlotte Despard and Mollie Woods. These women encouraged Indo-Irish collaboration in the hope that each side could learn from their respective experiences. They were agitators who attempted to add an aspect of global finesse to local nationalist politics and they successfully established their own tailor-made organisation in the shape of the Indian Irish Independence League. This talk will shed light on some lesser known aspects of Irish and Indian history between the World Wars, and on the significance of the Irish revolution within the wider history of the British Empire.

Speaker Dr Kate O’Malley is a historian with the Royal Irish Academy and a graduate of Trinity College, Dublin (BA, PhD). She has written extensively on Indo-Irish relations and her book ‘Ireland, India and Empire’ was published by Manchester University Press in 2008. Her research interests encompass Irish diplomatic and political history, twentieth century Indian history, British imperial history and British decolonisation. She is an occasional lecturer at Trinity College, Dublin and Secretary of the Royal Irish Academy’s Standing Committee on International Affairs. She is also a member of the Social Sciences Committee.

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