Original Iconic 1914 Cumann na mBan Brooch made by Dundalgan press Dundalk Eire

Extremely rare and ICONIC 1914 Cumann Na mBan white metal Badge \ Brooch , made by Dundalgan Press, Dundalk, extremely fine. Pin backing working perfectly. Less than 200 made made and only a handful survived!!. They are highly collectable and do not come up often, if at all!!. A truly beautiful well designed piece that would have been worn before, during and after the 1916 Easter Rising. This is a one of the cleanest examples I have seen available!!. This is a spare I have, that came from another collection.

*** I have included images from collins barracks which has one on display, Box is not included ***

I am always on the lookout for genuine Irish 1916 period Cap Badges, Buttons or Pins for the, Dublin Brigade , Irish Volunteer , Irish Citizen Army, Hibernian Rifles, Cumann Na mBan and Fianna Eireann etc. Sent me a message if you have any spare for sale, and thanks for viewing. Also check out my other ads.

*** Make an offer to PM if you have any questions, and please do not put stupid comments on this ad or I will 100% block you ***

** No swaps except for cash **

Buyer pays Paypal fees. Register Post is included for the ROI, Collection is available.


In 1913, a number of women decided to hold a meeting in Wynn's Hotel, Dublin, for the purpose of discussing the possibility of forming an organisation for women who would work in conjunction with the recently formed Irish Volunteers. A meeting chaired by Agnes O'Farrelly on 2 April 1914 marked the foundation of Cumann na mBan. Branches, which pledged to the Constitution of the organisation, were formed throughout the country and were directed by the Provisional Committee. The first branch was named the Ard Chraobh, which held their meetings in Brunswick Street before and after the 1916 Easter Rising.


The constitution of Cumann na mBan contained explicit references to the use of force by arms if necessary. At the time the Government of Ireland Bill 1914 was being debated and might have had to be enforced in Ulster. The primary aims of the organisation as stated in its constitution were to "advance the cause of Irish liberty and to organize Irishwomen in the furtherance of this object", to "assist in arming and equipping a body of Irish men for the defence of Ireland" and to "form a fund for these purposes, to be called 'The Defence of Ireland Fund'".


In addition to their local subscriptions (i.e. involvement in other nationalist associations or organisations), members of Cumann na mBan were expected to support the Defence of Ireland Fund, through subscription or otherwise. Its recruits were from diverse backgrounds, mainly white-collar workers and professional women, but with a significant proportion also from the working class. In September 1914, the Irish Volunteers split over John Redmond's appeal for its members to enlist in the British Army. The majority of Cumann na mBan members supported the rump of between 10,000 and 14,000 volunteers who rejected this call and who retained the original name, the Irish Volunteers. A few Cumann na mBan branches affiliated directly to Redmond's National Volunteers; other ex-members joined short-lived Redmondite associations, like the Volunteer Aid Association, or the "Women's National Council" formed by Bridget Dudley Edwards in 1915.

Role in 1916 Easter Rising

On 23 April 1916, when the Military Council of the Irish Republican Brotherhood finalised arrangements for the Easter Rising, it integrated Cumann na mBan, along with the Irish Volunteers and Irish Citizen Army, into the 'Army of the Irish Republic'. Patrick Pearse was appointed overall Commandant-General and James Connolly Commandant-General of the Dublin Division.

On the day of the Rising, Cumann na mBan members, including Winifred Carney, who arrived armed with both a Webley revolver and a typewriter, entered the General Post Office on O'Connell Street in Dublin with their male counterparts. By nightfall, women insurgents were established in all the major rebel strongholds throughout the city ? except two, Boland's Mill and the South Dublin Union held by Éamon de Valera and Eamonn Ceannt.

The majority of the women worked as Red Cross workers, were couriers, or procured rations for the men. Members also gathered intelligence on scouting expeditions, carried despatches and transferred arms from dumps across the city to insurgent strongholds.

Some members of Cumann na mBan were also members of the Citizen Army, and as such were combatants in the Rising. Constance Markievicz is said to have shot and killed a policeman at St Stephen's Green during the opening phase of the hostilities. She carried out sniper attacks on British troops and, with Mary Hyland and Lily Kempson, was among a small force under Frank Robbins which successfully occupied the College of Surgeons opposite the Green, and unsuccessfully searched for rifles that were believed to be held there by the college's Officer Training Corps. Helena Molony was among the Citizen Army company which attacked Dublin Castle and subsequently occupied the adjacent City Hall, where she and other women had sniping duties.

At the Four Courts the women of Cumann na mBan helped to organise the evacuation of buildings at the time of surrender and to destroy incriminating papers. This was exceptional; more typical was the General Post Office (GPO), where Pearse insisted that most of them (excluding Carney, who refused to leave the injured James Connolly) leave at noon on Friday, 28 April. The building was then coming under sustained shell and machine-gun fire, and heavy casualties were anticipated. The following day the leaders at the GPO decided to negotiate surrender. Pearse asked Cumann na mBan member Elizabeth O'Farrell (a mid-wife at the National Maternity Hospital) to act as a go-between. Under British military supervision she brought Pearse's surrender order to the rebel units still fighting in Dublin. Over 70 women, including many of the leading figures in Cumann na mBan, were arrested after the insurrection, and many of the women who had been captured fighting were imprisoned in Kilmainham all but 12 had been released by 8 May 1916.

After the Rising

Cumann na mBan protest outside Mountjoy Prison, July 23, 1921

Revitalized after the Rising and led by Countess Markievicz, Cumann na mBan took a leading role in popularising the memory of the 1916 leaders, organising prisoner relief agencies and later in opposing conscription, and canvassing for Sinn Féin in the 1918 general election, in which Countess Markievicz was elected Teachta Dála. Jailed at the time, she became the Minister for Labour of the Irish Republic from 1919 to 1922.

During the Anglo-Irish War, its members were active. They hid arms and provided safe houses for volunteers, helped run the Dáil Courts and local authorities, and in the production of the Irish Bulletin, official newspaper of the Irish Republic.

In the Irish elections of May 1921, Markievicz was joined by fellow Cumann na mBan members Mary MacSwiney, Dr. Ada English and Kathleen Clarke as Teachtaí Dála.

The Treaty

On 7 January 1922 the Anglo-Irish Treaty was approved by the Second Dáil by a close vote of 64?57. On 5 February a convention was held to discuss this, and 419 Cumann na mBan members voted against as opposed to 63 in favour. In the ensuing Civil War, its members largely supported the anti-Treaty Republican forces. Over 400 of its members were imprisoned by the forces of the Provisional government which became in December 1922 the Irish Free State. Some of those who supported the Treaty changed the name of their branches to Cumann na Saoirse, while others retained their name but gave allegiance to the Free State Government.

After the Treaty

Cumann na mBan continued to exist after the Treaty, forming (alongside Sinn Féin, the Irish Republican Army, Fianna Éireann and other groups) part of the Irish republican milieu. The government of the Irish Free State banned the organisation in January 1923 and opened up Kilmainham Jail as a detention prison for suspect women.

Its membership strength was adversely affected by the many splits in Irish republicanism, with sections of the membership resigning to join Fianna Fáil, Clann na Poblachta and other parties. Máire Comerford, a lifelong member from 1914, reflected in later years that it became a 'greatly weakened organisation' that 'gathered speed downhill' from the founding of Fianna Fáil in 1926.

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