Some points of view in Ireland
The issue of votes for women got bewilderingly complicated in Ireland and many groups splintered as a result: Some people put 'Suffrage first - before all else' - meaning before Home Rule, socialism, Unionism, extreme nationalism or any other cause.
- Some were opposed to votes for women.
- Many were indifferent or uninterested in votes for women.
- Nationalists wanted independence for Ireland and many hoped votes for women would eventually materialise in an Irish Home Rule parliament.
- James Connolly, the labour leader, was an ardent supporter of women's rights.
- Edward Carson, the Unionist leader, was opposed, of course to Home Rule but also to women's suffrage
- Many Unionist women supported the British war effort but nationalist women did not.
- The Sinn Féin party which would eventually eclipse the Irish Parliamentary Party in Ireland allowed women to join on equal terms with men from its foundation.
- John Redmond on the other hand excluded women from the Annual Convention of the Irish Parliamentary Party in 1912 because they had interrupted him so often. He was opposed to votes for women both on principle and on tactical grounds.
- The combination of votes for women and Home Rule for Ireland seemed unattainable, in the short term at any rate, considering John Redmond's power, attitude and actions.
- The 1916 Proclamation began with the words 'Irishmen and Irishwomen' and guaranteed 'equal rights and equal opportunities to all its citizens.'
- The Constitution of the Irish Free State set up under the conditions of the Treaty in 1922 gave the vote to women and men over 21.