Life & death
22 October 1919 – 28 October 1976
Máire Drumm (22 October 1919 – 28 October 1976) was the vice-president of Sinn Féin and a commander in Cumann na mBan. She was killed by Ulster loyalists while recovering from an eye operation in Belfast’s Mater Hospital.
Born in Newry, County Down, to a staunchly Irish republican family. Drumm’s mother had been active in the War of Independence and the Civil War. Drumm grew up in the village of Killeen, County Armagh, right on the border with County Louth. She played camogie for Killeen. She was active in the republican movement after meeting her husband, a republican prisoner, and became involved in the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association in the 1960s and worked to rehouse Catholics forced from their homes by loyalist intimidation.
She was jailed twice for seditious speeches. After she was released from HM Prison Armagh, raids on her house by the security forces escalated, her health began to fail and she was admitted to the Mater Hospital, Belfast.
On 28 October 1976, Máire Drumm was shot dead in her hospital bed in a joint operation by the Red Hand Commando.
See: Red Hand Commando
Drumm’s speeches and quotations can be found on murals across Northern Ireland. These include:
- “The only people worthy of freedom are those who are prepared to go out and fight for it every day, and die if necessary.“
- “We must take no steps backward, our steps must be onward, for if we don’t, the martyrs that died for you, for me, for this country will haunt us forever.“
See: 28th october
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