December 4, 1887

“For these be the times that try men’s souls- and women’s” 

                                        Maria Winifred Carney  in  The Irish Worker (1913)

Maria Winifred Carney Irish suffragist, trade unionist, and Irish independence activist was born.

Maria Winifred Carney, also known as Winnie Carney one of the first Irish women to be qualified as a secretary and a short hand typist from Hughes’ Commercial Academy.

As a result of her deep involvement with the trade union, she met and eventually became Connolly’s typist, typing his articles for publication. Aside from being his typist, she became a friend and confidant. According to her biographer, Helga Woggon, she had become the person most closely acquainted with Connolly’s beliefs, ideals, and plans.

When the Great War commenced in 1914, Carney concurred with Connolly that it was the perfect time to stage a rebellion, even if it was only of a symbolic value.

While she was in Cumann na mBan, she taught first aid and developed a proficiency for handling a rifle. On 14 April 1916, she was summoned by Connolly to join him in the insurgents in the General Post Office where they were garrisoned. Initially, Carney was the only woman at the headquarters of the General Post Office and one of the three remaining women when the garrison had to evacuate the building when it was burned and had to relocate to Moore Street. After Connolly became wounded, she stayed with him. Afterwards, Carney was arrested and held in Kilmainham, Mountjoy, and Aylesbury Jails until the Christmas of 1916.

In the 1917 Belfast Cumann na mBan convention, she was the delegate.

She stood for Parliament as a Sinn Féin candidate for Belfast Victoria in the 1918 general election. She polled 4.05% of the vote, gaining 539 votes.] Carney lost to the Labour Unionists. Having lost, she decided instead to continue her work at the Irish Transport and General Workers’ Union until 1928. By 1924 she had become a member of the Labour Party.In the 1930s she joined the Belfast Socialist Party.  [Wikipedia]

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