New stamp marks centenary of Cumann na mBan

02/04/2014

April 2, 2014: An Post will issue a stamp to commemorate the centenary of the founding of Cumann na mBan (The Irishwomen’s Council) tomorrow, Thursday April 3, 2014.

Designed by Ger Garland, the stamp features Cumann na mBan members driving at the head of the funeral of citizens shot during the Howth arms landing (courtesy of Kilmainham Gaol Museum). A limited edition first day cover envelope shows the membership booklet of Cumann na mBan member, Sighle Humphreys (courtesy of UCD Archives and Mrs. Cróine Magan).   The stamp and First Day Cover may be viewed and purchased online at irishstamps.ie; at main post offices and at the Irish Stamps Shop, GPO, Dublin 1.

Cumann na mBan was a women’s nationalist organisation founded to ‘advance the cause of Irish liberty’. Its constitution provided for the use of force by arms against the Crown Forces in Ireland. Founding members included Jennie Wyse Power, Agnes O’Farrelly, Louise Gavan Duffy and Agnes MacNeill.

Their patriotic aims attracted thousands of Irish women eager to play their part in the fight for Irish independence and by October 1914, Cumann na mBan had upwards of 60 branches, some with dozens of members.  In the aftermath of the 1916 Rising – in which many of them played key, non-combatant roles  - with so many of the revolutionary leaders dead or imprisoned, strong support for the work of Cumann na mBan ensured that the struggle for independence continued.

 

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