This September, Micheline Sheehy-Skeffington, the granddaughter of Irish patriot Francis Sheehy-Skeffington (who was executed without trial by a British firing squad during the Easter Rising) and his wife Hanna, arrived in New York City on board the Queen Mary II. She is embarking on a 12-week tour of the United States, following in her grandmother’s footsteps when she escaped Ireland in 1917 with a false name and spoke across the U.S. to sold-out crowds about the murder of her husband, Ireland’s struggle for independence, and women’s suffrage.
“Both my grandparents were prominent feminists and Hanna is well known in Ireland for her suffrage activities, but her political career and her contribution to the Irish struggle for independence are largely forgotten, possibly in part because she was a woman,” she says.
Micheline’s tour will become part of a documentary she is producing called Hanna and Me: Passing on the Flame. Micheline, a former ecologist at the National University of Ireland Galway and well-known feminist and activist, hopes to connect with modern-day Irish Americans in the same way her grandmother did. So far, she has raised nearly $30,000 for her tour and plans to raise an additional $25,000 to product the documentary upon her return.
“I want to see what I can tap into of the Irish community,” she told Miriam Nyhan on the Glucksman Ireland House Radio Hour. Sheehy-Skeffington will be hitting all the major Irish American points across her tour, including Boston, Chicago, Butte, Seattle, and San Francisco, as well as numerous locales in between. She returns to New York at the end of November.
For updates on the tour and where she will be speaking, follow her on Facebook – @HannasUSTour. ♦