Document of the Month
UCDA P106/1466 Papers of Sighle Humphreys. Group portrait of the Executive of Cumann na mBan, 5 February 1922.
Sighle Humphreys (1899–1994) was a former secretary, director of publicity and national vice-president of Cumann na mBan, the female auxiliary force of the Volunteers. The organisation spearheaded various campaigns, reflected in the papers of Sighle Humphreys. These include the Defence of Ireland Fund, the Irish Republican Prisoners Dependents Fund, the Easter Lily Campaign and the Political Prisoners Committee. Cumann na mBan’s activities are clearly recounted through the reminiscences of executive and branch members, through the 1969 records collection project, and through the original minutes of Cumann na mBan meetings. These activities vary from Swedish drill and rifle practice, to first aid, education and publicity. For the most part, the Cumann na mBan papers are strictly related to their organisation, but occasionally issues of a turbulent political nature such as the split over the Anglo-Irish Treaty in 1921, described in the correspondence of Jenny Wyse-Power (1858–1941), are also included. UCDA P106/1466 is a black and white print of a group photograph of the Executive of Cumann na mBan taken in the Mansion House grounds, during their Convention at which a motion to support the Treaty was rejected. It includes a handwritten list of names identified in the photograph, including Anna O’Rahilly (1873–1958), Jenny Wyse Power and Countess Markievicz (1868–1927).