Francis Sheehy Skeffington (1878 - 1916):
Journalist and social refomer
Francis Skeffington was born in Bailieborough, County Cavan, and was educated at home and at University College, Dublin where, in 1902, he became Registrar and began a campaign for the admission of women to the college. When asked to drop the campaign or resign, he resigned and became a journalist and social reformer. In 1908 he helped to form the Independent Labour Party and with Hanna Sheehy, the leading Irish suffragist to whom he was married, helped found the Irish Women's Franchise League. He co-edited The Nationalist and later became editor of the Irish Citizen, writing prolifically for various newspapers. He joined the Young Ireland branch of the United Ireland League and was a member of the 'Peace Committee' in the 1913 lock-out. He was a pacifist, a vegetarian and an anti-vivisectionist. In 1913 he was elected Vice-Chairman of the Irish Citizen Army. When the First World War broke out, he campaigned against recruitment and was arrested. When, after six days on hunger-strike, he was released, he went to campaign in America. Although he advocated non-violent action, he was arrested during the insurrection in Dublin at Easter 1916, and having witnessed the shooting of an unarmed boy, was himself arbitrarily executed. His executioner was declared of unsound mind. Among his publications are A Life of Michael Davitt and In Dark and Evil Days, which was published posthumously.
||23 December 1878
||26 April 1916