Everyday I will post a short biography and image from the ‘Something to Live for’ window installation at Parliament Street/Cork Hill/Dame Street Dublin.
Today is Kate O Callaghan who had a major influence on the cultural life and politics of Limerick City.
Kate Murphy was born near Macroom, Cork in 1885. She had 14 brothers and sisters, 11 of whom survived to adulthood. She obtained a degree from the Royal University followed by teacher training in Cambridge. She took up her sister Máire’s post as a teacher in Limerick at Mary Immaculate College.
In July 1914 she married Michael O’ Callaghan and passed her job on to another sister, Éilis. She joined the Gaelic League along with her sisters and was a founder member of the Cumann na mBan Limerick branch . Her jusband became Lord Mayor of Limerick in 1920 and was shot dead by masked men in front of her (believed to be Black and Tans), She was left a widow at 35 years of age. She began a campaign to countermand the authroities ‘version’ that he had been killed by and extreme element of the IRA. Her pamphlet, The Limerick Curfew Murders, was circulated in Ireland, England and America.
In 1921 Kate was elected to the Dáil. She opposed the Treaty and in 1922 called for increased women’s suffrage. She lost her seat in 1923 but remained a very active member of the cultural life of the city and was a member of the Limerick Drama Society, Féile Luimnigh, Limerick Art Gallery and the Gaelic League. When she died in 1961 members of the old IRA carried her coffin draped with the tri-colour. She was buried at Mount St Lawrence cemetery next to her husband.
Link to The Limerick Curfew Murders http://museum.limerick.ie/index.php/Detail/Object/Show/object_id/11690