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Studio photograph by Underwood & Underwood, New York, of Hanna Sheehy Skeffington.
Hanna Sheehy Skeffington was an Irish political activist. She married Francis (‘Frank’) Skeffington in 1903. The couple were committed to many causes, particularly feminism, pacifism, socialism, and nationalism; when the couple married (1903) they took each other's surnames as a symbol of the equality of their relationship.
In 1902 Hanna joined the long-established Irishwomen's Suffrage and Local Government Association, which campaigned for women's access to the franchise through the genteel methods of lobbying politicians and holding meetings. In 1908, with Gretta (Margaret) Cousinsand two other women, she organised the Irish Women's Franchise League, an independent, non-aligned, and militant group. By 1912 the IWFL claimed a membership of over 1,000, making it the largest suffrage group in Ireland.
On the outbreak of the 1916 rising Frank was involved in organising anti-looting bands. He was arrested and shot without trial on the orders of Capt. J. C. Bowen-Colthurst, a British army officer. Hanna was thrown into personal and emotional turmoil by that event. An inquiry into the murder left too many questions unanswered for her satisfaction. She refused all offers of compensation from the government. (Source: the Dictionary of Irish Biography, author Maria Luddy)