The Night Before Halloween

On this day in 1921, four Republican women prisoners of war; Linda Kearns, Eithne Coyle, Mae Burke and Eileen Keogh escaped from Mountjoy Prison in Dublin.

A sympathetic guard enabled the women to make a wax-mould of the key needed for their escape. Communications were established with the IRA on the outside, signals agreed, and a plan hatched for the night before Halloween.

The female prison population was participating in a football match. In typical fashion it was Cork against the rest of Ireland. The ‘rest of Ireland’ won the match so there would be double reason to celebrate.

The match created plenty of noise, and the four female prisoners plotting their escape seized the moment. Throwing a small perfume bottle over the wall at the agreed spot, the IRA sent over a rope ladder. Linda went first, due to ill-health, followed by Eileen Keogh, Mae Burke and lastly Eithne Coyle. All escaped perfectly and returned to join the fight against Britain’s Black and Tans.

Whatever your plans are for Halloween they will likely not equal the action of these four women.

Pictured is Eithne Coyle, Mae Burke and Eileen Keogh.