Kathleen Clarke, Irish Nationalist, born 1878

#OnThisDay 1878 Kathleen Clarke, founding member of Cumann na mBan, politician & first female Lord Mayor of Dublin, was born in Limerick. Clarke spent 11 months in prison for the “German Plot” & served as a Republican judge during the War of Independence.

Clarke had lost both her husband (Tom) and brother (Ned Daly) in the executions after the Easter Rising. She was pregnant at the time while visiting and lost her child.

She also set up the Irish National Aid Fund to aid those who had family members killed or imprisoned as a result of the Easter Rising. Clarke was vital to Michael Collins in his quest to rebuild the IRB and the Volunteers after the Rising as she had the rolls of the companies.

Of Pearse, she said, he “wanted to grab what was due to others . . . surely Pearse should have been satisfied with the honour of Commander-in-Chief when he knew as much about commanding as my dog . . . I had not intended raising the issue in public but I shall be forced to come out very strongly in public if the powers that be attempt to declare Pearse as President”.
In a taped interview made in 1968 she stated that Roger Casement was “… the aristocratic kind and he assumed that when he went into any movement, ipso facto, he was one of our leaders, if not the leader . . . and what could he know of Ireland, when he was all the time out of it.”

Kathleen passed away in Liverpool in 1972, received a state funeral and was buried in Deans Grange Cemetery in Dublin.

Kathleen Clarke

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