Executive of Cumann na mBan

Executive of Cumann
na mBan February 1922

This photo shows 23 members of the Executive of Cumman na mBan. While we know who most of these women are, there are 4 who remain unidentified. Can you help us identify them?

At a special convention on 5 February 1922, Cumann na mBan rejected the Articles of Agreement for a Treaty with Great Britain and Ireland. Mary MacSwiney brought forward a resolution that reaffirmed allegiance to the Republic of Ireland. Jennie Wyse Power proposed an amendment to accept. 63 members voted in favour, while an overwhelming 419 voted against.

Below we have them listed out row by row including the women we can’t identify.

  • Front Row Left to Right:
  • Kate Breen
  • Dr Adeline English
  • Áine Ceannt
  • Jennie Wyse Power
  • Constance de Markievicz
  • Nannie O’Rahilly
  • Mary MacSwiney
  • Margaret Pearse
  • Unidentified
  • Second Row Left to Right:
  • Máire O’Reilly
  • Máire Deegan
  • Éilis Nic Eachnaidh
  • Bríd Connolly
  • Unidentified
  • Maureen McGavock
  • Phyllis Ryan
  • Unidentified
  • Back Row Left to Right:
  • Unidentified
  • Máire Comerford
  • Sighle Humphreys
  • Unidentified
  • Josephine Ahearne
  • Fiona Plunkett


Faigh Amach

Mna100 provides the Dictionary of Irish Biography entries for some of the best known women and for this centenary have also created new biographies of some of the lesser known women

Some of the women in the photograph were identified in the newspaper. Others identified by Sighle Humphries in her handwritten key, now in the collection of University College Dublin Archives .

Documents in the Military Archives have a list of known members of the Executive. Link here are the names of the missing women contained in this document. Examine the photograph and see if you can help us identify them.

If you have any suggestions please contact Mna100

100 Years on not all of the members of the Executive are identified. Mna100 has created new biographies of some of the lesser known women members

Front Row Left to Right

Miss Breen

Kate Breen

Kate Breen represented the Munster Branches of Cumann na mBan She was described in her obituary in…

Ada English

Dr Adeline English, Teachta Dála

Lorem ipsum numa est…

Mrs Kent

Áine Ceannt

Mrs Power

Jennie Wyse Power

Madame Markievicz

Teacha Dala, Constance de Markievicz

Madame O’Rahilly

Nannie O’Rahilly

Born in New York (see: Humphreysfamilytreecom complied by Sheila Schneider) on 4 September 1875 as…

Miss McSwiney

Teacha Dala, Mary MacSwiney

Unidentified – Mrs Mulcahy

Irish Independent, 7 February 1922. [Mrs Mulcahy identified by Sighle Humphreys formerly Min Ryan]

Second Row Left to Right

Miss O’Reilly

Máire O’Reilly

‘She was always ready to shoulder extra burdens and she was never known to fail in any crisis’…

Miss Dugan

Máire Deegan

‘She never failed to carry out all the orders, never faltered or failed, either in courage or…

Miss Aughney

Éilis Nic Eachnaidh

Born 5 January 1898 in Roscat (also given as Roscott), Tullowbeg, County Carlow to Patrick Aughney…

Miss Connolly

Bríd Connolly

‘She was a very live wire She was particularly active during that period’ Margaret Loo Kennedy…

Unidentified – Miss Mullen

Miss Mullen [Miss Mullins] Identified as Eileen Tubbert by Sighle Humphries, no record of her is the list of the executive

‘… unrivalled record of national service, and her unqualified devotion to the men who in…

Miss McTavock

Maureen McGavock, later Mrs Beaumont

Mrs Barry

Leslie Price, Mrs Tom Barry

Mrs P Ryan

Miss Phyllis Ryan, later Bean Ui Cheallaig

Back Row Left to right

Unidentified – Mrs Tom Clarke

Mrs Tom Clarke identified by Irish Independent, 7 February 1922. Sighle Humphries does not identify this woman.

Mrs Comerford

Miss Máire Comerford

Mrs Sighle Humphreys

Miss Sighle Humphreys

Unidentified – Miss Gordon

Miss Gordon identified by Irish Independent. 7 February 1922. Sighle Humphries does not identify this woman.

Mrs Ahearne

Miss Josephine Ahearne

Mrs F Plunkett

Miss Fiona Plunkett

The youngest daughter of Count and Countess Plunkett, George Noble Plunkett and Mary Josephine…

Executive Members included in this list who could be unidentified women in the list?

Mrs Margaret Skinnider

Miss Margaret Skinnider

Mrs Madge Daly

Miss Madge Daly

Born on Henry Street, Limerick in February 1877 into a prominent Fenian family. She was the second eldest daughter of Edward Daly and his wife Catherine O’Meara. 


She had eight sisters and one brother Edward (known as Ned). Her father took part in the 1867 Fenian Rising alongside his brother John. The death of the 41 year old Harbour Weightmaster in 1890 ended the childhood of the eldest three girls.


Her brother Edward Daly was later Commandant of the 1st Dublin Battalion of the Irish Volunteers. Her sister Kathleen married Tom Clarke. Both Edward and Tom were executed for their part in the 1916 Rising.  

Named Margaret, after her Daly grandmother, she was always known as Madge. She was academically gifted and for a time she worked as a teacher in school where she had been a pupil, the Presentation Convent in Sexton Street. She was trained as a Milliner in Cannock’s Department Store in Limerick City.

By 1901 the head of the household was Uncle John, who was then Mayor of Limerick, also residing in the home was her grandmother Margaret Daly, 90, her daughter Ellen, Madge’s mother Catherine, her eight sisters and her brother.  By then she had joined the staff of her Uncle’s bakery in William Street. She took over the running of the business when he became ill. She maintained a highly successful business for the remainder of her working life. It is said that it was her business acumen that made the family wealthy. 

Madge Daly joined Maud Gonne’s Daughters of Ireland (Inghinidhe na hÉireann) in 1900. She was a founding member of Cumann na mBan in Limerick. She was appointed as the first President of the Cumann na mBan branch in Limerick City upon its foundation in 1914. 

By 1921, as Madge described through their ‘own industry’ she purchased ‘Ardeevin’ on the Ennis Road. The business by then had a bakery, a confectionary business and a flour business on Sarsfield Street. The Dalys were subjected to continuous raids both in their home and business during the revolutionary period. They were fined, their premises were set on fire. On 9 April 1921 the family were subjected to a brutal and violent attacked by masked and armed men. The content of their home was burnt by military order. The Dalys were only able to save photographs.  

She played an active role in Cumann na mBan during the revolutionary period, fund-raising, arranging safe-houses, and issuing propaganda, amongst other activities. 

Madge was actively involved in the White Cross and the American Commission for Relief in Ireland.

She was opposed to the Treaty and during the fighting in Limerick in July of 1922 she was one of the last to leave New Barracks which had been occupied by Anti-Treaty forces. 

Madge Daly retired as President of the Limerick branch of Cumann na mBan in 1924.

In 1930s Madge was involved in the establishment of the Limerick Shoe Company. The family moved to a larger house with gardens, Tivoli on the North Circular Road. During the Emergency, due to Madge’s declining health, the family decided to move to Dublin to be close to specialist treatment. Madge died there in 21 January 1969 aged 91. She is buried in Mount Saint Lawrence Cemetery in Limerick.

Her papers including an unpublished memoir form part of the Daly Papers in the special collections at the Glucksman Library, University of Limerick.



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