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Sheehy-Skeffington, Hanna (1877-1946)



  • Existence: 1877-05-24 - 1946-04-20

Biographical note

Hanna Sheehy-Skeffington was born on May 24, 1877, in County Cork, Ireland. In 1903 she married Francis Skeffington. As supporters of women’s rights, the Sheehy-Skeffingtons co-founded the Irish Women’s Franchise League, a militant suffrage organization, in 1908 with Margaret Cousins. Hanna Sheehy-Skeffington was also one of the founding members of the Irish Women’s Workers Union. She also wrote for the Irish Citizen, a paper she started with Francis. In 1912, Sheehy-Skeffington was arrested for throwing rocks at Dublin Castle’s windows in a protest for women’s rights and was imprisoned again in 1913 for protesting against Edward Carson. During the 1916 Easter Rising, Francis, a pacifist, was arrested while attempting to stop looting and was executed by a firing squad without a trial on the orders of British army captain John Bowen-Colthurst. Bowen-Colthurst was later court martialed and sent to an asylum, but was released after eighteen months. Sheehy-Skeffington published a pamphlet, “British Militarism As I Have Known It,” in 1917, which detailed her husband’s murder and the aftermath. Until 1918, she toured the United States, giving lectures on her story. Her pamphlet went on to be re-published many times. In 1946, Sheehy-Skeffington ran unsuccessfully for the Dáil Éireann with the Women’s Social and Progressive League. She died on April 20, 1946.

Social Networks and Archival Context (SNAC) Identifier

Found in 2 Collections and/or Records:

M.J. MacManus papers


Collection of letters toIrish Press editor and author M.J. MacManus from 1889-1951.

Restrictions on access

Collection is open for research.

Dates: 1889 - 1951; Majority of material found within 1916 - 1951

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