A plaque was mounted this (2022) summer to Maggie McAnaney, who died when a gun went off at an IRA checkpoint near Burnfoot, Co. Donegal, a month before the Civil War began (Derry Journal). This is an unusual use of the phrase “active service”, as McAnaney was travelling to a picnic at the time, rather than on exercises or preparing munitions; the phrase would later come to be associated primarily with a premature bomb explosion.
“In proud and loving memory of Margaret “Maggie” McAnaney, Cumann na mBan, died on active service at Burnfoot on 31st May 1922, aged 18 years. The McAnaney family home was situated on Bishop Street. Fuair siad bás ar son saoirse na hÉireann.”
“This plaque commemorates the centenary of the Easter Rising and the sacrifice of all those men and women who took part. We will remember their unwavering stance against British imperialism and its rule. We will acknowledge their influence on following generations to continue their legacy. In particular we remember all those old republicans from within this area, the Bone, who campaigned through the decades to fulfill the aspirations of the 1916 combatants. (Con Colbert) An Irish martyr who came to be defined by his favourite phrase “For my God and my country” fought on Marrowbone Lane [Dublin], 1916″.
Cúchulainn stands dying; the raven on his shoulder will signal his death. “This memorial is dedicated to all the brave and gallant men and women of the Old IRA (Óglaigh na hÉireann) and Cumann na mBán who fought in all of the campaigns from the 1920s War of Independence onwards.”
The Irish tricolour with crossed rifles was the flag of the Irish Volunteers (Óglaigh na hÉireann), the splits in which gave rise all the subsequent IRAs.
For a roll of honour 1916-1966, including some profiles, see Treason Felony.
“Countess Markievicz – first woman to be a member of the 1st Dáil and the 1st woman in the world to hold a cabinet position as minister for labour 1919-1922.” Markievicz is shown here in civilian garb with a Cumann na mBan pin – compare with the previous mural celebrating the centenary of CnamB. The first Dáil Éireann met in the Round Room of the Mansion House in Dublin (residence of the Lord Mayor) on January 21st, 1919. 35 Sinn Féin deputies – including Markievicz – were absent because they were “fé ghlas ag Gallaibh” (“imprisoned by foreigners”) and four more “ar díbirt ag Gallaibh” (deported by foreigners); Unionist members including Edward Carson did not attend (The Irish Story). Among its business was the adoption of a Declaration Of Irish Independence (title page shown on the right).
The photograph reproduced is of the crowd awaiting news of a truce in the War Of Independence in July 1921 (WP).
The Marrowbone (or simply “the Bone”, perhaps from the Irish “Machaire Bothán”) is an area of north Belfast between Ardoyne and Cliftonville. Ardilea Close is home to four memorials to local republicans: on this wall, the plaque on the left is to “men and women from this and past generations who died from natural causes having dedicated their lives to the cause of Irish freedom” while the one on the right is to “those who showed courage in the face of adversity by giving aid, shelter and support in defence of the area.” Only one of the original walls mentioned the IRA (see Bone Memorial), as well as the 2014 addition of a Fianna memorial – Hark To The Tramp Of The Young Guards of Éireann. The new mural commemorating F company of the 3rd battalion – as well as the associated Cumann na mBan, Cumann na gCailíní and Fianna – can be added to these.
The scroll reads “Out of the ashes of 1969” arose the Provisional IRA, but the lineage is a long one and all but one of the organisations, events, and arms depicted here precede 1969: Cumann na mBan, Na Fianna Éireann, Óglaigh Na hÉireann, a Celtic shield and sword, a pike (from the 1798 Rebellion), a Thompson gun, the Tricolour; only the assault rifle is modern and perhaps also is meant to indicate the Provisionals, Belfast Brigade. “Fuair siad bás as son saoirse na hÉireann.”