Podcast: Alice Ginnell: activist and diplomat, 1916-1923

In the latest edition of our podcast series, Historian in Residence Ian Kenneally speaks with Dr Anne Marie O’Brien, about the role played by Alice King (later Ginnell) in Cumann na mBan, Sinn Féin and as part of Dáil Éireann’s international publicity efforts during the War of Independence.

This episode (and earlier editions) can also be found on anchor.fm/wcchistorian

Alice Ginnell, born near Mullingar in 1882, was a branch organiser for Cumann na mBan and an active member of Sinn Féin, working as the election agent for Laurence Ginnell, her husband, during his successful campaign in the 1918 general election. She would subsequently work with Laurence Ginnell as part of his publicity and diplomatic activities in the USA and Argentina. While Alice Ginnell is a relatively unknown figure, more information can be found in the following articles: a blog entry from 2020 written by Ann Marie O’Brien and an entry to mná100 which focusses on research by Dr Paul Hughes into Ginnell’s life (and the lives of other Westmeath figures).

Ann Marie O’Brien graduated in 2017 from the University of Limerick with a Ph.D. in history which was funded by the Irish Research Council. Currently, she is a tutor and lecturer at Maynooth University. She has published nationally and internationally on women and Irish diplomacy and her book, The Ideal diplomat? Women and Irish foreign affairs, 1946-90, was published by Four Courts Press in 2020. She is currently undertaking a new research project, The Irish Diplomatic Oral History Project which interviews retired diplomats from the Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade about their careers and experiences in the Irish diplomatic corps.

Content Last Updated/Reviewed: 18/11/2021