Slavery became an issue for protest in Ireland during the early nineteenth century and Daniel O'Connell took a prominent part in parliamentary debates on abolition in the House of Commons in the 1830s. Anti-slavery societies were formed in Ireland, the majority of whose members seem to have been women from minority religions, especially Quakers. They sought support by appealing to other women,
|In an appeal from the Dublin Ladies' Association, published in 1837, Irish women, it was declared, as wives and mothers free from slavery, must empathise with their slave-bound sisters, who as a '... wife may be torn from the husband of her choice forever', or as a mother have no '... right of maternal property in her offspring.'
Maria Luddy, 'Women and politics in nineteenth century Ireland' in M.G. Valiulis & M. O'Dowd, Women & Irish history, Dublin,1997, p.99.
The fact that women (apart from Queen Victoria, perhaps) had no formal political power caused them to reflect:
|Let us not be deterred because we are women - but let us remember that oft times God uses the weak things of the world to confound the things that are mighty.
Maria Luddy, 'Women and politics in nineteenth century Ireland' in M.G. Valiulis & M. O'Dowd, Women & Irish history, Dublin,1997, p.100.
They distributed information on slavery to emigrants going to America and presented an anti-slavery petition signed by 75,000 women to Queen Victoria. They sought to make Irish people more aware of the horrible realities of slavery.