Skip to main content

Cumann na mBan


Historical Note

Cumann na mBan, Irish paramilitary organization. Cumann na mBan, which is Irish for "League of Women," was formed in 1914 in Dublin as a support group to the Irish Volunteer Force. Among its responsibilities, the organization worked toward arming the men and creating propaganda to support the cause of Irish independence. During the 1916 Easter Rising, many members played a role in the rebellion, though those roles were mostly non-combatant and included performing first aid, gathering intelligence, and transporting arms. Over seventy women from Cumann na mBan were arrested for their participation in the Easter Rising, and most were released shortly after. After the Rising, the organization was led by Countess Constance Markievicz. Members continued to support the cause for independence by organizing prisoner relief agencies, playing an active role in the Irish War of Independence, and producing a militant nationalist newspaper, the Irish Bulletin. In 1922, when leaders of the group rejected the Anglo-Irish Treaty, the organization was split and Cumann na Saoirse (Free State Cumann na mBan) was formed.

Social Networks and Archival Context (SNAC) Identifier

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Loretta Clarke Murray collection of women in revolutionary Ireland


This collection includes papers and artifacts of women and organizations involved in the fight for Irish independence. A majority belonged to Máire Gill and relate to her work with Cumann na mBan, a women’s Irish republican organization, as well as her work with Cuala Press and the women’s sport of camogie. Additionally, there are materials relating to women’s suffrage. Of note are a banner made by Maud Gonne and a journal of Margaret Skinnider’s involvement in the 1916 Easter Rising.

Restrictions on Access

Collection is open for research; a portion is available digitally.

Dates: 1893 - 2008; Majority of material found within 1916 - 1950