Linda Kearns MacWhinney

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Linda MacWhinney (née Kearns; 1 July 1888 – 5 June 1951) was an Irish Fianna Fáil politician and nurse from Sligo.

Two days after the insurgents seized the Dublin GPO during the Easter Rising in April 1916, nurse Linda Kearns took over an empty building on North Great George's Street.[1] She hung a Red Cross flag above the door and welcomed casualties of the fighting, from both sides of the conflict.[1] Kearns was not interested in nationalism or republicanism prior to the Easter Rising, but there were women who were already supporters of the cause, like Countess Markievicz and Maud Gonne.[2] Because she treated republican participants during the uprising, the British Army ordered Kearns to close her unofficial hospital.[3] But the young nurse discovered that she had certain skills that could be useful in times of war.

After the Rising she went into private nursing.[4] She was the nurse to the O'Connor Morris family in Tullamore and traveled quite extensively with them.[5] In October 1921, she famously escaped from Mountjoy Jail with Eithne Coyle.[3] She subsequently played a part in the Irish Civil War.

She was elected to Seanad Éireann on the Industrial and Commercial Panel in April 1938. She was defeated at the Seanad election of August 1938.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Linda Kearns McWhinney (1889-1951)". Retrieved 23 Jul 2010. 
  2. ^ O’Riordan, Tomás. "Countess Constance Markievicz". Multitext Project in Irish History. University College Cork, Ireland. Retrieved 27 Jul 2010. 
  3. ^ a b Ó Fallúin, Donal. "The Great Escape - Nurse Linda Kearns". Come Here to Me!. Retrieved 28 Jul 2010. 
  4. ^ McCoole, Sinéad (15 Oct 2003). No ordinary women: Irish female activists in the revolutionary years, 1900-23. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press. p. 177. ISBN 978-0-299-19500-7. 
  5. ^ Ó Duigneáin, Proinnsíos (2002). Linda Kearns: a revolutionary Irish woman. Drumlin Publications. ISBN 978-1-873437-26-1. 
  6. ^ "Ms. Linda Kearns MacWhinney". Oireachtas Members Database. Retrieved 22 March 2009.