The IBRG archive at the WCML. Part Four; How Irish women played an active role in IBRG.

lipstick socialist

In the 1970s the Irish community in Britain was represented by the Federation of Irish Societies; an organisation made up of mainly men who were Irish born. IBRG was set up in 1981 because of the F.I.S.’s reluctance to speak out on the issue of the Hunger Strikes in the North of Ireland and to recognise the discrimination and deprivation facing the Irish in this country.

IBRG reflected not just a more politicised generation of Irish born in this country,  but an organisation that was 50/50 women and men. From 1981-2001 there was a female president (Maire O’Shea), two female chairs (Bernadette Hyland and Virginia Moyles), as well as officers including Bridget Galvin, Judy Peddle, Laura Sullivan, Caitlin Wright, Majella Crehan and Jackie Jolley. There was a Women’s Subcommittee, a Women’s Officer, IBRG women’s meetings,  while in  common to many radical  organisations at that time, crèches were provided for all…

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