Women in the IRA

Topics: Northern Ireland, Human rights, The Troubles Pages: 4 (894 words) Published: March 26, 2014
Women in the
IRA

At the beginning of the 60's, the IRA's women's army, Cumann na mBan, had scarcely a role. The IRA eventually did away with the group, because it wanted to take up women into its own units and to give women and men equal rights.

“Women played a role in the earlier struggles, but not to the degree to which they do now. They carried weapons, some planted bombs. Today, women volunteers in the IRA are used just as the men are. They take part in armed encounters against British soldiers. They are asked to plant bombs. Most men are OK and they accept us. Some are a little uncertain about us, because they had never before met a woman who was willing to kill.”

Mairead Farrell



Born March, 3 1957 in Belfast, Northern Ireland
Died March 6, 1988 in Gibraltar – Cause was multiple bullet wounds.

Joined IRA, although had no previous military ties to herself of family, in response to the revocation of the Special Category status. She and two others bombed the Conway Hotel, Dunmurry on April 5th, 1976. She was arrested by the RUC. She refused to recognize the court because it was an institution of the Royal state. She was sentenced to 14 years in Armagh. She refused to wear prison clothes, and led other women in their decision to join the men on hunger strike

She said: “ We are in a war situation. We have been treated in a special way and tried in special courts because of that war, and because of our political activities we want to be considered prisoners of war”.

Mairead Farrell was murdered by an SAS unit in Gibraltar on March 6, 1988.

European Court of Human Rights
The relatives of McCann, Savage and Farrell were dissatisfied with the response to their case in the British legal system, so they took their case to the European Court of Human Rights in 1995. The court found that the three had been unlawfully killed.It ruled that the human rights of the 'Gibraltar Three' were infringed in breach of Article 2 - right to life, of...
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