Mary McAuliffe is a historian and Director of Gender Studies at UCD. Her latest publications include Legacies of the Magdalen Laundries: Commemoration, Gender, and the Postcolonial Carceral State (2021) (coeditor), Margaret Skinnider (Life and Times Series) (2020), and Sexual Politics in Modern Ireland (2015) (co-editor). She is a past President of the Women's History Association of Ireland and is a member of the Humanities Institute, UCD. She was awarded the 2023 FoyJustice Award by UCD LGBTQI+ for her work on the Irish Queer Archive (IQA) and her research on Irish queer histories and sexualities.
Harriet Wheelock is Keeper of Collections in RCPI, with responsibility for the management and development of RCPI's Heritage Centre. She worked as an Archival Student in the National Library of Ireland and completed her MA in Archives and Records Management from UCD. She is currently a PhD student in the TU Dublin School of Art and Design, where her research focuses on the development and historiography of RCPI's heritage collections.
The diaries of Dr Kathleen Lynn, 1916-1955, cover her involvement in the 1916 Rising, the War of Independence, the Civil War, and the formative three and a half decades of the Irish Free State. They demonstrate the revolutionary, socialist and feminist fervour of a radical revolutionary woman, what motivated her and the work she did for women, workers, and Ireland. The diaries, held in the archives of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland (RCPI), reveal the often-difficult road that radical political women forged in the new Irish Free State, which viewed women through the constraining lens of marriage, motherhood, and domesticity. The diaries are also revealing of the supportive networks of political women, who worked together for social and political change. Central to the diaries is Lynn's vital work in St Ultan's Hospital for Sick Infants which she co-founded in 1919. Her diaries demonstrate vividly the number of women who led advances in medical care in the first decades of the State alongside Lynn. The diaries also record her family and personal relationships, especially her lifelong relationship with fellow suffragist, revolutionary and social campaigner, Madeline ffrench-Mullen.
Few political women of the revolutionary era and Irish Free State have left behind as substantial an archive as Dr Kathleen Lynn. The publication of these selected extracts from her diaries are a move to readdress issues created by past archival practices which have, in many cases, marginalised or silenced the voices of women. The diaries add not only to our knowledge of the life of Dr Lynn but also to the histories of female activists, female networks, and intimate female lives in the Irish State during its formative decades.
FOREWORD by author Emma Donoghue.
'Lynn’s diaries are among the few eyewitness sources we have for a radical, revolutionary, socialist, and republican woman.' - RTÉ Brainstorm, 13 Nov 2023. Read the full article here.
‘Casts new light on many of the political and social concerns of three decades of Irish life. This volume is a significant addition to Irish history.
For me, though, The Diaries of Kathleen Lynn is a book about the human condition and how love sustains us’ - Clodagh Finn, Irish Examiner, 11 Nov 2023. Read the full review here.
‘Through a careful selection of excerpts from Lynn’s extensive personal diaries, which commence in 1916 and continue almost daily until her death in 1955, The Diaries of Kathleen Lynn: A Life Revealed through Personal Writing provides an extraordinarily close insight into Lynn’s social, private and political life, and her relationship with many of the key political figures of Ireland in the first half of the 20th century.’ - Connaught Telegraph, 4 Oct 2023. Read the full extract here.
‘Alive & throbbing, indeed, as long as breath was in her, and the world was better for the marks she left on it, which is only one reason why the long-overdue publication of a selection of Kathleen Lynn journals is a cause for what she would have called a loud hip hip DG.’ – Emma Donoghue, Irish Examiner, 16 Oct 2023. Read the full extract here.
‘The diaries demonstrate the revolutionary, socialist and feminist fervour of a radical revolutionary woman, what motivated her and the work she did for women, workers, and Ireland.’ Monmouthshire Beacon, Nov 2023. Read the full review here.