From the front page of the Anaconda Standard newspaper, April 29, 1922. On the left is Kathleen Barry and on the right is Countess Markievicz.
The Anglo-Irish Treaty was signed in December of 1921 – but it was not ratified for a little over a year. Many Irish Nationalists were against the treaty; Countess Markievicz was among these. The Countess Markievicz, seated on the right in the darker cloths, was the first woman elected to the British Parliament; however, she refused to take her seat. She was the minister of Labor under De Valera – and of course a leader in the Easter Rising. With her is another advocate for a free Ireland – Miss Kathleen Barry. Miss Barry was sister to Kevin Barry, who’s unjust execution at the hands of the English on November 1, 1920 outraged many. His martyrdom is famously recounted in song.
“Just before he faced the hangman,
In his dreary prison cell,
British soldiers tortured Barry,
Just because he would not tell.
The names of his brave comrades,
And other things they wished to know.
Turn informer or we’ll kill you
Kevin Barry answered “No”.
These two ladies came to the US on behalf the Anti-Treaty faction of the Irish. To get support from Irish America in the push for a free Ireland – a whole free Ireland – for ALL the sons and daughters of Eire. Seen here at the Ancient Order of Hibernian’s hall in Anaconda, Montana Countess Markievicz, greeted the packed house in Gaelic and proclaimed that the Irish Free State Treaty was a violation of National Ideals. She said it disfranchised the Irish people – saying that “nothing less than complete independence would satisfy the aspirations of the Irish Nation.” Anaconda Mayor McCavitt had introduced Countess Markievicz as “One of the most remarkable women in the world.”
Following their time in Anaconda the Countess and Miss Barry, along with J.J. O’Kelly, who was a member of the Dail Eireann, went to Butte, Montana and spent time there with the Irish faithful.