On Tuesday December 4th in King House in Boyle, ‘Through the Eyes of Margaret Cousins – Irish & Indian Suffragette’, written by Dr Keith Munro and published by Hive Studio Books, will be launched at 7 pm. The general public is invited to attend. The audience will be welcomed by the Cathaoirleach of Roscommon County Council, Cllr Ivan Connaughton. Dr Munro, author and grand-nephew of Margaret Cousins, will then address the meeting. Cllr Orla Leyden BA M.Litt., special guest for the evening, will then launch the book.
Dr Munro previously made a promise, at the Roscommon Commemorative Lecture Programme for Vótáil 100 in April of this year, to publish a book on the life of Margaret Cousins, who was born in a house on the Crescent in Boyle on 7th November 1878. He is now fulfilling that promise.
Published during this historic year of the 100th Anniversary of ‘Votes for Women’, the book concerns the life of Margaret Cousins, known as Gretta and her husband James, an Irish poet of note. He was a contemporary and friend of such Irish poets during the cultural revival as WB Yeats, George Russel (Æ), and Padriac Colum. This book is seeing ‘through her eyes’ from diaries and notes recorded by both of them and published in their seminal work: ‘We Two Together’ Madras (1950).
Gretta and Jim, together with their friends Hanna and Frank Sheehy-Skeffington founded the Irish Women’s Franchise League. In November 1922 Gretta was invited to become the first non-Indian Magistrate in the history of India. She worked tirelessly for the rest of her life for the education of the women of India. She passed away in Adyar in Chennai in 1954 at the age of seventy-five.
This book has been endorsed by past President of Ireland, Mary Robinson, who said:
“…..This is the story of a most remarkable Irish girl from Boyle in Roscommon, who, together her husband James and the Sheehy-Skeffingtons, Frank and Hanna, founded the Irish Women’s Franchise League in 1908. Driven by her passion for women’s equality Margaret Cousins devoted the rest of her life to the education of women in India and the raising of their status. It is significant that this book is being released during this historic year of Vótáil 100”.
Dr Keith Munro MB FMO was a general practitioner (1970-2003), forensic medical officer (1970-2018, retired), and a founder member of the Foyle Hospice in Derry (1983).
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