Tag Archives: Emily M. Weddall

Collecting for the Monument

In 1942 Eva O’Flaherty, Anita McMahon and Emily along with the local parish priest and school teacher began their campaign to erect a monument dedicated to the Achill born Patriot Priest of the 1798 rebellion, Fr. Manus Sweeney. Fr. Sweeney was executed for his alleged part in the insurrection in 1799.

The well planned campaign began two years before the priest’s 180th birth anniversary in 1942. The project could easily have become impeded with obstacles, as it in the middle of World War Two. Ireland was a neutral country, and was experiencing “the Emergency”, where the flow of goods, services and transportation was slowed down. But the monument was going to be unveiled to mark an date, and that was how it was going to be. The well organised committee got in touch with the media, announcing their intention to the country. Below is one such article.

Catholic Standard 20 November 1942
The Mayo News, Saturday August 19, 1944.

After Scoil Acla

After the 1912 Scoil Acla session ended in early September Emily Weddall and An Paorach [Francis Hugh Power] made a visit to Connaught Irish College in Tourmakeady, in Co. Mayo. Scoil Acla had just enjoyed a good run and the pair may have been making a return visit to the Irish College.

Another item on their agenda was the payment of school teachers. Fr. Meehan, who visited the college too, made the point that teachers who could teach in both English and Irish should be paid at a higher rate than those who only taught through English. An Paorach was a bi-lingual teacher, who taught on Achill Beg. Part of his wages were paid the department of education, the rest by Emily Weddall, who was independently wealthy and happy to fund anything that encouraged the revival of the Irish language.



Irish Independent 09 September 1912

Conradh na Gaelige 125 Years

!25 years ago today Conradh na Gaelige or the Gaelic League was founded by Douglas Hyde, Fr. Eugene O’Growney  and others. It was set up to prevent the dying out of the Irish language completely as it was in danger of happening at the time.

The organization grew at rapid rate and had branches springing up all over the country. Emily Weddall was an early member and was once part of the Cead mile failte committee at a fair in Kingstown, modern day Dun Laoghaire.

Over the years Emily was a regular correspondent, with An Claidheamh Soluis (The Sword of Light), Conradh na Gaeilge’s weekly newspaper, was published between 1899 and 1932.

Dublin Daily Express 21 August 1893

“Simplicity Itself”

In 1911 Emily Weddall commissioned a hall to be built in Dooagh for the use of the local people, particularly for Gaelic League events. At the time she did not know that it would be the centre of what would become one of the shortest but most renowned summer school of its age.

“Latest on the list of these colleges is Scoil Acla founded this year on Achill Island. It owes its origin to Mrs. Weddall, who in the spring built a village hall in Dooagh. The hall was to be used for Gaelic League classes, for ceidhlidhe, for plays, for concerts. But it was the beginning of May, and the summer months with their enforced emigration were to follow. Was the new building to remain closed until October or November brought back to life when the young men and women returned from the harvest fields of Scotland? It seamed a pity. Suddenly an idea come. Wy not have a course of language classes for students who might like to spend a few weeks in Achill? The idea developed and the scheme was formed of organising a summer school for the month of August. It was to have no pretensions, but simplicity itself. It was to give no certificates and the lessons were to suit students who came to learn chiefly for their own pleasure. On Sunday, August 7th, Scoil Acla was formally opened. Some Some seventeen students had found their hither from different places. There was three fro England, two from Dublin, fiver from Leinster, one fro the Aran Island, and there rest from Co. Mayo. Though different in their stages of knowledge, the students united in equal enthusiasm. soon the classes were vigorously at work.”

That was how the first Scoil Acla came to pass.


Evening Telegraph. Saturday, June 8 1912


On this day in 1927 Countess Markievicz died. She breathed her last in a public ward in Sir Patrick Dunn’s Hospital, Dublin, not the usual setting for a Countess. She had reneged upon a pampered life for a one of service to the poor of her country and then on to fight for that same country.

To read more about her remarkable life:

Countess Markievicz

Her funeral attended by thousands, was held over three days. Her body lay in repose at the Rotunda, on Parnell Square. From there crowded lined to route to Glasnevin Cemetery, to be interned alongside her friends and fellow Republicans, who had gone before her.  

It is impossible to say if Emily Weddall attended the funeral, chances were she was there in the crowd or marching with fellow members of Cumman Na mBan.

The funeral procession took place on Sunday but the burial was not until the following day, Monday as the gravediggers union forbade them to work on Sunday. The Countess’ coffin was held in a vault in the O’Connell Circle, where the founder of the cemetery, and Irish Liberator was originally buried (he was reinterred in a crypt beneath the Irish round tower) in 1869. If she were alive she may have been pleased as;

“DANIEL O’CONNELL (1775-1847) –Daniel O’Connell was a politician, Lord Mayor and human rights activist. He achieved Catholic emancipation and fought for the repeal of the Act of Union between Great Britain and Ireland.” (Glasnevin Trust)

Last Post.

The Countess was buried with almost full military honors, the only exclusion was the firing of shots over her grave. At the time such was band by the state, but she did get the all other honors due to her. As a personal touch her uniform, worn during the Rising of 1916 was buried with her.

Over the years she was joined by her friends and fellow Republicans, one by one until that generation came to an end. Emily rests nearby next to Cathal Bruagh and across from Maude Gonne. The Republican Plot is part of the Glasnevin tours, and the graveyard is one of the top Dublin tourist attractions and well worth a visit: https://www.glasnevinmuseum.ie/daily_tours/

Filmed and edited by Marcus Howard. On the 90th anniversary of Countess Constance Markievicz’s death, The 1916 Relatives Association held a special commemorative event in Glasnevin Cemetery. To watch the video;


23 July 1927 – Ballymena Weekly Telegraph – Ballymena, Antrim, Northern Ireland
02 October 1917 – Daily Mirror – London, London, England