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  • Writer's pictureFriends of Sinn Féin USA

Remembering Maud Gonne McBride

Maud Gonne McBride

On this day in 1953 at the age of 86, Maud Gonne McBride an Irish revolutionary, feminist, suffragette and actress died in Roebuck, Clonskeagh, Ireland. Born in England to a well to do family, Maud became passionate about Ireland when she saw the unfairness and viscousness of the British actions in the Land Wars. Maud was married to Easter Rising leader John McBride who would be executed in the aftermath of the Rising in 1916, but she may be best remembered for her turbulent relationship with William Butler Yeats, rejecting his marriage proposals at least four times.

Maud with her son Séan and husband John McBride

Maud opposed the 1921 treaty and partition and advocated for the Republican side. She was arrested multiple times for seditious activity as she campaigned for freedom and civil rights. Maud and John McBride's son Séan was IRA Chief of Staff before setting up Amnesty International. Séan won the Nobel Prize in 1974.

Below is a poem Maud wrote for her imprisoned comrade Countess Mariewicz


The peaceful night that round me flows,

Breaks through your iron prison doors,

Free through the world your spirit goes,

Forbidden hands are clasping yours.

The wind is our confederate,

The night has left her doors ajar,

We meet beyond earth's barred gate,

Where all the world's wild Rebels are.

Today Maud rests in Glasnevin, Dublin. She is remembered as a fierce Irish nationalist and advocate for those without a voice.

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