From left: May Burke, Eithne Coyle and Linda Kearns (and Union Jack).
New York Times, October 31, 1921.
As with its male counterpart, the Mountjoy Women’s prison was used to incarcerate women who took part in the War of Independence (1919-1921). Four of these women decided to draw up an escape plan. They were: Linda Kearns from Sligo, serving 10 years for possession of firearms; Aileen Keogh from Co. Carlow, serving 2 years for possession of explosives; May Burke from Co. Limerick, serving 2 years for giving copies of military ciphers to the IRA and Eithne Coyle from Donegal, serving 12 months for possession of seditious documents. Linda Kearns was the main organiser but she received valuable assistance from the officers who were sympathetic to the IRA. Keys were often left on tables and she was able to make wax impressions which were smuggled out during a visit and the duplicate keys smuggled back in on another visit. These keys gave the four access to the prison grounds. On the evening of 30th October, 1921, they made their escape using a rope ladder that had been tossed over the wall by those outside assisting in the escape plan.
But what happened next?
Prison Education News (Penandclink.com)
Pic via The Rustbelt Radical (thanks Shane Hegarty)