Emily and the Countess; Part 2

A week or so after the event, Emily went to England to marry Captain Weddall in London. One year later she was living on Achill. She quickly joined the local Gaelic League and became part of the fabric of the Island. Two years later her husband died, leaving her alone in the world but independently wealthy.

As she had no children or had to work for her living, Emily used her time and resources to augment the Gaelic League on Achill.  Her enthusiasm and generosity made her popular with the locals and new arrivals to the island, who were more than happy to help with her ventures. By 1910 the idea for an Irish language and culture summer school was realised and by the following year it was a reality.

Countess Markieviez had also returned to Island as a married woman and set up home in Dublin. She also became involved Gaelic revival. She was in good company as her childhood friend, W. B. Yates was already established in Dublin and had just set up the Abbey Theatre  with Lady Gregory, where she acted. Both she and her husband were artists exhibiting frequently. One such exhibition in 1913 was attended by Emily, their paths crossing again. In the same year the Countess lent support financially and physically to the families of the workers during the lockout.

“Madame Markievicz in a big overall, with sleeves rolled up, presiding over a cauldron of stew, surrounded by a crowd of gaunt women and children carrying bowls and cans”.

Over the winter of 1912/13 Emily was involved in another socially unjust situation- the Land Wars. Emily along with her friend, Anita McMahon sat through the court case that finally ended in victory for the tenants. Read more: https://www.duchas.ie/en/cbes/4497767/4344557/4497807?ChapterID=4497767

Connaught Telegraph 1830-current, 19.05.1956, page 4https://www.abbeytheatre.ie/about/history/
The Schools’ Collection, Volume 0086, Page 318 Tonatanvally, Co. Mayo
The Mayo News, April 12 1913
Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News 15 April 1916