Statement from women prisoners in Kilmainham Jail, 1923

The papers of Eamon de Valera contain a file of documents relating to the mission to Ireland of Monsignor Salvatore Luzio. The documents mostly relate to his efforts to find a basis for peace which would lead to the ending of the Civil War and arrangements for him to meet with de Valera. In addition, Luzio was expected to deal with the complaints of Republicans who were deprived of the sacraments of Confession and Holy Communion.

The file comprises mainly letters to and from de Valera (P) and those acting in the capacity of go-between for the arrangements, namely Mary MacSwiney (M. Nic Shuibhne); Michael Carolan (IRA Director of Intelligence) (MC); Professor Arthur Clery (AC); Cáit O’Kelly (Cáit bean Sheán T., wife of Seán T. O’Kelly); Mrs Kathleen Brugha, widow of Cathal (Cáit bean Chathail); Revd Dr Edward J. Byrne, Archbishop of Dublin (B); Eoin P. Ó Caoimh (EPÓC); Count Plunkett (Count P) and his wife, and Monsignor P. Magennis and Monsignor Hagan. The file also includes some correspondence between de Valera and Luzio.

The document below is a copy of a statement from Brigid Ní Maolain and Nora Connolly O’Brien (noted as an ‘exact copy of the original document’ by [?] Casey and Caitlín Bean Cathal Brugha), addressed to Luzio from women prisoners in Kilmainham Jail protesting against their treatment. They also take issue with the stance of the Irish Roman Catholic Hierarchy towards the prisoners, especially the refusal of some chaplains to administer the Sacraments to them (21 April 1923).

UCDA P150/1809 Papers of Eamon de Valera. Copy of a statement from Brigid Ní Maolain and Nora Connolly O’Brien to Monsignor Salvatore Luzio, 21 April 1923. Reproduced by kind permission of UCD-OFM Partnership.