Captivity – Civil War
Mná100 Podcast Episode 5

The Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin T.D. has launched the fifth episode in the Mná 100 podcast series, titled Captivity – Civil War, as part of the Decade of Centenaries Programme 2012-2023.  This episode continues the story of women imprisoned, following the photo-essay ‘Inside Out’ which was first published by Mná100 in February, in partnership with the City of Dublin Education Unit and Training Board Education Centre at Mountjoy Prison. This podcast looks in more detail at the lives of those ‘suspect women’, who were arrested and imprisoned in 1922 and 1923.

In this podcast, Dr Sinéad McCoole discusses the legacy of ‘suspect women’ imprisoned during the Irish Civil War, exploring their lives during imprisonment and what happened to them after they were released. Dr McCoole also reflects on the emerging Irish Free State.  The voice of Tessie O’Connell is heard for the first time and her reflections on life in prison are moving and illuminating.  Manchán Magan recalls his Grandmother Sighle Humphreys. He discusses how he and his brother have retold her story and how her life has shaped his own.

Also featured are the voices of Leaving Certificate students currently in Mountjoy Prison. Dr McCoole visits Kilmainham Gaol and describes the cells that some of the women were held in.  Ailbhe Reddy has recorded a version of ‘The Foggy Dew’, which was sung by women imprisoned for the 7th Anniversary of the Easter Rising commemoration that was held in Kilmainham Gaol.

A first-hand account of the women’s experience in Kilmainham Gaol in 1923, written by Dorothy Macardle 1889-1958 can be read here.