MARY JANE IRWIN O'DONOVAN ROSSA

One of my aims while producing REBEL ROSSA was to tell the equally fascinating story of Rossa's wife, the ardent patriot Mary Jane Irwin of Clonakilty, West Cork.  She married Rossa young and soon after was in the middle of Fenian activity, campaigning for Irish prisoners and traveling all around the mid-19th Century United States putting on readings that helped the cause and supported her family.  She was also instrumental in organizing Rossa's funeral in 1915.  Throughout her life she was a pro-active, self-sustaining and incredibly strong woman whose love of Ireland equaled her husband.

Unfortunately her story had to be curtailed in the final edit of REBEL ROSSA.  But I believe her story must be told!  So I am beginning a film project about her life.  Fortunately, I already have a significant amount of material about her.  But I need to shoot more in the USA and Ireland and pay for editing, animation as well as a prepare for a surprising contemporary story arc that I am developing.  

The crucial role of many women in Irish history - and world history - has gone by the wayside and it is time these stories are told.  Mary Jane's story is a dramatic, fascinating one and you can help make this happen.  Thank you, please donate what you can below - you will be credited in the final production!

Donate
A young Mary Jane around the time Rossa was in English prisons.  She travelled all over the USA, Canada and England reading her poetry, talking about the imprisoned Fenians and commanding huge audiences and supporting her family.

A young Mary Jane around the time Rossa was in English prisons.  She travelled all over the USA, Canada and England reading her poetry, talking about the imprisoned Fenians and commanding huge audiences and supporting her family.

Mary Jane and Eileen with Tom Clarke at the funeral she helped organize

Mary Jane helped organize her husband's famous funeral in 1915.  Here she is with Fr. Michael Flanagan, her daughter Eileen and Tom Clarke who would, of course, be executed after the Easter Rising

Mary Jane helped organize her husband's famous funeral in 1915.  Here she is with Fr. Michael Flanagan, her daughter Eileen and Tom Clarke who would, of course, be executed after the Easter Rising

Mary Jane and Rossa in Staten Island, NY.  While they were embraced by the Irish American community their finances were always precarious and Mary Jane throughout her life used her gift of oratory and poetry to bring in income through speaking engagements. 

Mary Jane and Rossa in Staten Island, NY.  While they were embraced by the Irish American community their finances were always precarious and Mary Jane throughout her life used her gift of oratory and poetry to bring in income through speaking engagements.