Collection: Papers of Muriel MacSwiney

Collection DescriptionMuriel MacSwiney was born in Queenstown, Co. Cork, to Nicholas Murphy, who owned Cork Distilleries Co. Ltd, and his second wife, Mary Gertrude (née Purcell). She became interested in radical nationalism and the Irish language and joined both Cumann na mBan and the Gaelic League. She met republican Terrence MacSwiney in 1915 and, during the 1916 Rising she brought supplies and information to MacSwiney and other rebels at the Volunteers Hall in Cork. She was engaged to MacSwiney when he left prison in 1917 and they married in the summer of that year. In the years following, Terrence was regularly imprisoned, with Muriel visiting him regularly with their daughter, Máire. His final imprisonment came in 1920 and he began a hunger strike that autumn, which ended in his death. She was opposed to the Treaty and later joined the Irish Communist Party. She later became embroiled in a custody dispute with her sister-in-law, Mary MacSwiney, over her daughter Máire. In 1926, Muriel had a second daughter, Alix, with a French intellectual. She subsequently married a German left-wing activist, who was killed under the Nazi regime. She lived in France in the 1930s, but relocated to England in 1940, after Paris was occupied. Her fortune had run out by the 1950s and she was granted an Irish pension of £500 per annum. She died in London, in a nursing home, in October 1982.
Collection Web Address

Repository: UCD Archives

Repository NameUCD Archives
AddressJames Joyce Library UCD Belfield Dublin 4
EircodeD04 R7R0
Telephone(01) 716-7555

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