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Letter from T.M. Healy to Áine Ceannt sympathising with her on the death of her husband Éamonn Ceannt.
Letter inscribed on House of Commons headed paper.
Physical description: 1 item (2 pages)
Timothy Michael "Tim" Healy was an was an Irish nationalist politician,and Irish Member of Parliament (MPs) in the House of Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. His political career began in the 1880s under Charles Stewart Parnell's leadership of the Irish Parliamentary Party (IPP), and continued into the 1920s, when he was the first Governor-General of the Irish Free State.
Ceannt, Áine (1880–1954) republican, was born Frances Mary O'Brennan on 23 September 1880 in Dublin. On leaving school she joined the Gaelic League, and adopted the Irish form of her name, Áine Ní Bhraonáin. She first met her husband, Éamonn Ceannt, on the league's annual excursion to Galway in 1901. She fully supported her husband's political and cultural activities, becoming a member of Cumann na mBan at its inception in April 1914. Áine was a sister of the prominent republican activist Elizabeth (‘Lily’) O'Brennan and the playwright Kathleen O'Brennan. Appointed with Kathleen Clarke to set up Cumann na mBan's central branch, Áine and her sister Lily sat on its executive. The Ceannts’ home at 2 Dolphin's Terrace, South Circular Road, was often used for IRB and military council meetings, and Áine witnessed many of the preparations for the Easter rising. In the run-up to the rising she was herself involved in writing and delivering dispatches.
After Éamonn death she devoted herself to furthering the republican cause, notably as vice-president of the Volunteer Dependants’ Fund, which was established soon after the executions to distribute relief from IRB funds to families bereaved by the rising. She was one of four vice-presidents of Cumann na mBan. She was co-opted as a member of Sinn Féin's standing committee in 1917, and re-elected annually until 1924. Elected in 1918 to the Rathmines urban district council, she was chosen as vice-chairman of the council (1920–22), and deputy vice-chairman of the Dublin board of guardians. She was appointed district justice in the daíl courts on their formation in 1920 and served as co-trustee of the funds of the Rathmines and Rathgar district courts. She also worked as an arbitrator with the Sinn Féin labour court (1920–21) which required her to travel the country investigating industrial disputes. During the war of independence her home at Oakley Road, Rathmines was raided eleven times by troops and police, who fired shots and caused serious damage on at least three occasions.
She took the anti-treaty side in the civil war but from December 1922 to April 1923 was a member of a Sinn Féin peace committee which attempted to bring the conflict to an end.
She played an active role in the Irish Red Cross from its formation in 1939, resigning from active service in the organisation in 1946, and from the Children's Relief Association in July 1947. That year she wrote a history of the Irish White Cross. In her later years she moved to Churchtown, Co. Dublin. She died 2 February 1954 in her home, Inis Ealgan, and was buried in Deansgrange cemetery.
(Biographical Information: Frances Clarke. 'Ceannt, Áine'. Dicitionary of Irish Biography.)