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Marguerite Moore

Waterford's Revolutionary Women 1916-1922

12. Marguerite Moore
Ladies Land League Patriot, Public Speaker and Activist
Marguerite was born in Waterford on the 7th July, 1849, Marguerite was one of the first women to become a member of the ladies branch of the Land League and an important figure within the organisation. Charles Stewart Parnell became head of the National Land League in 1879. The organisation was founded to prevent the eviction of tenant farmers from their holdings by landlords and help those already evicted. On his return trip from America, his sister Anna Parnell was handed the task of setting up the Ladies Land League. In 1882, Parnell and other leading figures of the Land League were imprisoned and it was left to the Ladies League to keep the cause in motion and active. "Marguerite travelled through Ireland, teaching the doctrine of the Land League and bringing help to the evicted tenants. In all the large cities of England, Scotland and Wales she addressed crowded meetings" 1 (Livermore et al 1893). In 1881, she was arrested and imprisoned in Tullamore Jail along with thirteen other leading Land League Ladies. Marguerite refused bail and served 6 months for her activism and outspoken views of the oppression of Irish tenant farmers. In 1882 Parnell and the men of the Land League were released with a number of conditions one being the disbandment of the Ladies League, who had caused much trouble for authorities over the past year.

The Ladies League were disbanded in August, 1882 and soon after Marguerite moved to New York with her family of six children. Here she quickly became involved in politics and fighting the oppression of women, workers and Irish immigrants. Marguerite remained an active campaigner for Irish nationalism, before and after 1916 she was involved in fundraising, public speaking and demonstrations to raise funds in support of an Irish Republic. July 1916, 1 The Irish World reported on a meeting addressed by "eloquent Women, Irish by birth and descent." The meeting held after the Easter Rising and chaired by the eminent surgeon Dr. Gertrude B. Kelly also coincidently a Waterford women. The event had been organised to benefit the families of imprisoned Irish Volunteers. Kelly Introduced: Mrs Marguerite Moore as a veteran of the Irish movement in America and the "first suffragette". In 1920 2 Marguerite led thousands of British Sailors, New York longshoremen and staff on board transatlantic liners on a three and a half week strike organised by Dr Gertrude Kelly also a Waterford County native to protest the imprisonment of the Cork Mayor, Terence MacSwiney. 2 (K. Sprows/Cummings, 2009). Among her many roles included vice-president of the Universal Peace Union, a member of the New York Woman's Press Club, treasurer and secretary of the Parnell Branch of the Irish National League. When Maude Gonne created the Inghinidhe na hÉireann (Daughters of Erin) she modelled the organisation structure on the Ladies Land League and in 1914 it was absorbed into the Cumann na mBan 3 (Schneller, 2005).

1 Livermore F, Willard M, 1893, American Women, Charles Wells & Moulton Publishers, New York, Chicago.
NewspaperThe Evening World, June 5th 1894, New York.
2 Kathleen Sprows / Cummings, 2009, New women of old faith, Gender and American Catholicism in the progressive era, University of North Carolina Press, p52 2-8.

Author: Chrissy O'Connor Knight & Eddie Cantwell

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