Fighting Injustice Through Politics

Both women were to find that 'missing link' in their lives fighting injustice through Politics. Eva had moved to Manchester in 1897 and was soon exposed to the Womens Suffrage movement. Women made up the majority of the workforce in the cotton trade at that time but were not earning an equal wage to men. This sparked a wave of unrest in the industry throughout Britain and the plight of the worker became very evident to Eva. Her compassionate nature and sense of injustice compelled her to take an active role at the forefront becoming one of the founder members of 'The Women Textile Workers'. She evidently relished this role and 'is credited with having induced Mrs Pankhurst to take her famous crusade on the vote'.

Constance, at this stage, had yet to discover the political course that would consume her life entirely. She had spent the first few years of the 20th century mixing with Dublin's elite along with her husband. Both continued to paint, with Count Casimir enjoying some success, and began to mix with the literary group that surrounded the Abbey Theatre. By 1908 Casimir had become deeply interested in the theatre, Constance had yet to find what it was in life that she could commit fully to. It was at this pivotal time that she met Arthur Griffith. Constance was quickly introduced to Irish politics and the fight against injustice subsequently joining the nationalist organisation 'Daughters Of Erin'.

It was in the same year that the newly invigorated Constance joined up with her sister in Manchester. Eva had continued her work with the Womens' Suffrage movement and was busily campaigning against the British politician one Winston Churchill. He had unwisely decided not to support the womens objection to a licensing bill, which would have prevented the employment of barmaids [10]. Their well-planned campaign resulted in Churchill losing the election. Eva by now was well rooted in the cause of womens rights but remained a steadfast pacifist, Constance on the other hand was beginning to see a huge outlet for her energy and would not remain so meek!

Constance became involved in the quest for improvements to workers' pay and conditions, which resulted in the subsequent great lockout of 1913, meanwhile Eva, moved to London because of ill health. By 1916 Constance was a member of the Citizen Army and fought in the Rising of the same year. She was condemned to death for her activities in the failed rebellion. This sentence was almost immediately commuted to life imprisonment; a ruling which she vehemently rejected as it was only commuted because she was a woman. She was shipped to Aylesbury prison in England being released one year later under a general amnesty for all nationalist prisoners and returned to Ireland.

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