A WOMAN'S PLACE IS IN THE REVOLUTION
Remembering Sinn Féin Vice President Máire Drumm
Máire Drumm leading a protest in Belfast in the 1970's
Máire was murdered by unionist paramilitaries on this day 1976. She was a leader of women, a leader of men, a revolutionary, a wife, a mother and a grandmother. She was a formidable force. She led from the front.
An example of her leadership and courage occurred in July 1970 when the British Army placed the Falls community under military curfew. The streets of small terraced houses off the Falls Road were smothered in clouds of CS gas. Families were trapped in their homes choking from the gas. Three thousand soldiers and armoured vehicles surrounded them. The British soldiers smashed down front doors and wrecked homes, assaulting residents and looting property. Four people died and many more were injured or arrested.
People went hungry. Mothers ran out of baby food. Despite appeals from local clergy the British Army refused to allow anyone to go to the shops.
Máire led a march of Belfast women into the Lower Falls, with food supplies for the besieged residents. This famous piece of black and white film footage from that day shows hundreds of women proudly and defiantly marching into the lower Falls and brushing armed British soldiers aside. The curfew was broken. Knowing that she would remain unbowed and unbroken, Unionist paramilitaries shot her in her hospital bed as she awaited routine surgery. Máire had defeated them.
If you want to know more about the life and times of Máire Drum check out this short book by Gerry Adams: https://www.sinnfeinbookshop.com/maire-drumm-by-gerry-adams-td/