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Cover of Women's History Review

Women's History Review

Volume 6, Issue 4, Dec 1997
Pages 549-565

  • DOI: 10.1080/09612029700200158
  • Print ISSN: 0961-2025
  • Online ISSN: 1747-583X

The religious context of the women's suffrage campaign in Ireland

California State University


This article examines the relationship between the various Irish women's suffrage societies and the Christian churches. It looks at the attitudes of particular suffragists, organised groups and the clergy to the questions of not only granting women the vote but wider feminist issues as well. It argues that neither the women nor the clergy were predictable. There were suffragists who were anti-church and there were suffragists who formed organisations which closely reflected their religious affiliations. Some members of the clergy spoke out against the cause, but there were also a number who gave it their backing, though not always for feminist reasons.