Easter and ‘The love That Dare Not Speak Its Name’

Although women played an active role in the 1916 Easter Rising, carrying messages, tending the injured and also as quite effective snipers their role tended to be airbrushed out of the narrative.

It is best epitomised by Elizabeth O’Farrell who carried the flag of surrender with Pearse to the British lines In the photograph of the event only O’Farrell’s shoes are seen.

Another factor of course is that several of the main female figures were gay including O’Farrell and its only on recent years that this fact has become better known.

Irish Central has an article here on the issue as part of a book review: https://www.irishcentral.com/…/gay-women-1916-easter…

It opens with a quote from Yeats:

“The light of evening, Lissadell,Great windows open to the south,Two girls in silk kimonos, bothBeautiful, one a gazelle.”

Image: Julia Grenan and Elizabeth O’Farrell – fought during Easter week lived together thereafter and are buried together at the Republican plot at Glasnevin cemetery.

Bernard Moffatt

Assistant General Secretary Celtic League (5th April 2021)

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