Elizabeth Burke-Plunkett

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Elizabeth Burke-Plunkett
2nd President of Camogie Association
In office
Succeeded by Máire Gill
Personal details
Born (1866-05-24)24 May 1866
Mountbellew, County Galway
Died 28 October 1944(1944-10-28) (aged 78)
Dublin, Ireland
Spouse(s) Arthur Plunkett (1859–1929)
Children Oliver Plunkett, 12th Earl Fingall, Mary Elizabeth Kirk, Henrietta Plunkett, Gerald Plunkett.
Profession printer
Religion Catholic

Elizabeth Mary Margaret Burke-Plunkett (1866–1944), Countess of Fingall was born in Moycullen, a daughter of George Edmond Burke of Danesfield and became an activist in Irish industrial, charitable and cultural groups, serving as second president of the Camogie Association and first president of the Irish Countrywomen's Association.[1][2]


In 1883 at 17 she married Arthur James Francis Plunkett, 11th Earl of Fingall, 4th Baron Fingall (1859–1929), state steward to the colonial administration in Dublin Castle and one of the few Catholics to hold an Irish peerage, thus becoming Countess Fingall.

She befriended unionists such as Field Marshal Douglas Haig, Horace Plunkett, and Chief Secretary George Wyndham and also nationalist leaders such as Charles Stuart Parnell, Michael Collins and Éamon de Valera. Her colourful memoir of those circles were published in 1937.[3]

Activism and philanthropy[edit]

A friendship with Máire Ní Chinnéide, forged through theatrical circles, led to her accepting the patronage of Camogie Association of Ireland from 1910 to 1923. She also presented a cup and medals for the winners of the Dublin League. She served largely in an honorary role attending few meetings of what was then known as Cualacht Luithchleas na mBan Gaedheal.[4]

A liberal unionist, she became active in the promotion of Irish agriculture, industry and culture. She was a founder member of Plunkett’s Irish co-operative movement, was first president of the United Irishwoman in 1912–21 and of its successor the Irish Countrywomen's Association until 1942. She presided at suffragette meetings in Dublin,[5] was a founder of the Irish Distressed Ladies Committee, and served on the board of the Irish Industries Association.

She died at Earlsfort House, her Dublin home, on October 28, 1944 and was buried in Killeen Castle, County Meath.[6] The large attendance at her funeral included the diplomatic representatives of Belgium, Canada, Netherlands, and Poland.


  1. ^ Moran, Mary (2011). A Game of Our Own: The History of Camogie. Dublin, Ireland: Cumann Camógaíochta. p. 460. 
  2. ^ Diarmuid Ferriter: History of the ICA (1994)
  3. ^ Seventy Years Young, Memoires of Elizabeth, Countess of Fingal, by Elizabeth Burke Plunkett, Lady Fingall. First published by Collins of London in November 1937; 1991 edition published by The Lilliput Press, Dublin 7, Ireland [ISBN 0-946640-74-2].
  4. ^ Freeman’s Journal: Report of Camoguidheacht Congress
  5. ^ “‘Militancy Deplored,”‘ Freeman’s Journal, 5 March 1913, p. 5
  6. ^ Irish Times, 30 October 1944, obituary

External links[edit]