Helena Molony is born

On this day in 1883, Helena Molony was born in Dublin. She was orphaned when she was young and didn’t have the happiest of childhoods but this made her strong-willed and a survivor. She dreamt of a better life and soon that dream came to include a free Ireland. When she was older, she looked back at that time saying,  “I was a young girl dreaming about Ireland when I saw and heard Maud Gonne speaking by the Custom House in Dublin one August evening in 1903 . . . She electrified me and filled me with some of her own spirit.”

Whether it was Maud Gonne’s spirit that energized Helena or not, one thing is certain – she was immediately and completely devoted to Ireland. She and Maud became fast friends and together they were prominent members of both of Ireland’s Nationalist groups for women, Inghinidhe na hÉireann and Cumann na mBan. Helena founded the first political newspaper specifically for women in 1908 and she started a movement aimed at keeping girls away from English soldiers. She was heavily involved in nearly every suffrage or labor campaign and was assigned to the City Hall garrison during the Easter Rising of 1916. When the authorities came to interview her after she was arrested for her role in the uprising, they found her with torn and bleeding hands and the lock halfway off the door. Similarly, while Molony was imprisoned in Kilmainham Gaol her captors discovered that she was trying to dig her way through the massive stone walls with a rusty spoon. She was indomitable and unapologetic.

These traits carried over into every aspect of her life. Helena fought again in the War of Independence, ferrying messages for Micheal Collins and Liam Mellows and was fiercely opposed to the Anglo-Irish Treaty that partitioned Ireland. She was active in the resulting civil war on the Republican side. She remained loyal to her friends, even when her reputation and political career suffered for it. Molony was unwilling to compromise in nearly every way, including her personal life. She was linked romantically to both males and females in a time when that was considered not only a sin, but illegal- and she refused to be labeled or cornered. All of these things cost her and eventually, Helena was forced out of politics and public life.

Even then, Helena maintained strong friendships, often depending on friends for shelter and care. When she died after a long and full life, she was buried next to many of them in the Republican plot at Glasnevin Cemetery, where she is remembered to this day.

Helena

Addendum: For more about Helena please click here. If you’re looking for even more or other fierce women like her, why don’t you grab a copy of my book? “Petticoats, Patriots, and Partition” is available world-wide in bookstores, on Blurb, and all Amazon markets. (Sorry, it’s been awhile since I indulged in some shameless self-promotion.)

 

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Another year

Boy that last post is super cranky. Most of the time I like to keep a somewhat even keel about my opinions. Obviously, they are there and are easily found in the subject matter of what and who I write about but they’re not usually so cranky and bold. Sorry about that – it seems that my frustration about the US election and all the other bad decisions in the world spilled into my writing for a bit.

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Taking this show on the road…

I can’t believe it’s almost time to leave. I’ve been waiting for so many years and now it is all coming so quickly. Next week begins my Irish holiday/research trip and I have made the choice to spend the month without my laptop. I’ll still be connected of course, but with less writer-friendly tools, so there will likely be a lot of photos and updates, but less of the wordy and lengthy histories. If you miss those, feel free to pick up a copy of Petticoats, Patriots, and Partition in your favorite bookstore or Amazon market. It is certainly one part of what has made this trip possible.

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Extra-Curricular Activities

It’s not that I haven’t been writing. It’s that I haven’t been writing as often here. This is a problem for me, until I look at where that writing is. I wrote a book! (Holy Crap) The paperback version is now available on most international Amazon markets. You can order it from Barnes & Noble bookstores and nearly any other bookstore too.  It’s pretty damn exciting I must say – but trying to keep up with the promotion stuff is hard work. I now understand why people wait for that elusive ‘contract’ and a real publishing house.

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Petticoats, Patriots, and Partition paperback edition

There’s a lot to learn with this whole writing and publishing a book thing. One thing to learn is that if you set a book up to  be sold through Ingram, it disappears until Ingram gets around to distributing it. For me, that meant the paperback edition of my book was out of commission, which is a surprising and disappointing discovery.

However, I found a work around, so it is back. (Whew) If you’d like your own you can now find it here. The other links that have been posted before, and those in the Celtic Thoughts interview yesterday will only get you to the hardback edition, which is nice but more expensive.

In a few weeks, you’ll be able to order the paperback from any bookstore, anywhere – which is super neat. In the meantime though, the place to get it is the link above.

It won’t make it by Christmas anymore, but it would be a great book to start 2016 with.

 

Celtic Thoughts Interview

This book writing business is a lot (a lot a lot a lot) of work and there is a ton to learn and think about when you’re doing it yourself. Luckily I have a lot of really great people out there who are a great source of encouragement and inspiration – otherwise I think I’d be quite insane by now.

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Petticoats, Patriots, and Partition (take 1)

#nowyouknowmyname

So I probably just did the scariest thing I have ever done ever. I published a book. One that people can buy, and that has my name on it. It’s terrifying and wonderful and I kind of feel like an impostor.

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