Matthew’s mother, Jane Byrne, was raised in a tenement in Marlborough Street, a few blocks from the GPO, and married fisherman John Matthews, from Annagassan, County Louth. It was her mother’s experience as a child that inspired Matthews to look more closely at women in the seminal republican movement, and the turmoil of that era. “She was 7 and had very vivid memories of [the Easter Rising] because she thought she was going to die,” says Matthews. “I grew up listening to my mother’s childhood memories of war from 1916 to 1923.”
Photo right, some members of the Irish Women Workers Union pose -- the first and most enduring women's labor movement in Ireland, 1912.
Matthews, a Kildare resident, teaches at NUI Maynooth. She spoke to The Wild Geese’s Gerry Regan about her new book, “Dissidents: Irish Republican Women 1923-1941,“ and the experience of women republicans in the first half of the 20th century. In these companion titles, she says, she explores why women effectively disappeared from Irish politics from 1941 till the 1970s.
To read more about the Lockout and to read Ann Matthews' essay about its impact on families, along with the other essays therein, you can order "A Capital in Conflict: Dublin City and the 1913 Lockout," due out shortly, via Amazon.