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10 November 2016

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Connolly comrade Winifred Carney’s portrait unveiled in Belfast by great-nephew

● Artist Tony Bell with Dessie Cassidy


A PORTRAIT by republican ex-POW Tony Bell of Winifred Carney – a comrade of James Connolly who was born in Bangor and who spent most of her adult life there and where she left her political mark in the years after the 1916 Rising – was unveiled at the Duncairn Arts Centre on north Belfast’s Antrim Road on Tuesday.

The unveiling was performed by Dessie Cassidy, Winnie’s great-nephew, with Deputy Mayor of Belfast Mary Ellen Campbell.

Carney played a significant role in the military campaign during Easter Week.

In the aftermath of her imprisonment in Dublin’s Richmond Barracks, where she was incarcerated after her capture, she returned north and involved herself in both the political and military struggles that followed on from the Rising.

She was the Sinn Féin candidate for the 1918 Westminster general election, standing unsuccessfully in east Belfast.

It was a result of her socialist and left-wing activism that she met her future husband, George McBride, another avowed socialist and trade unionist. McBride had actually been fighting as an Ulster Volunteer Force recruit on the Western Front during World War One as Carney was taking part in the Irish rebellion against the British Army.

As part of a drama penned by Rosaleen Walsh and performed during the unveiling ceremony, actors playing the parts of Winnie and George explored their politics and their actions as well as their falling in love and marriage.

The event was chaired by long-time republican activist Joe Austin. Joe thanked the Lottery Heritage Fund for its financial support for the project and its representative, Angela Lavin, who attended the unveiling

Winnie Carney portrait – Tony Bell, Dessie Cassidy, Mary Ellen Campbell, Dessie Cassidy and Sinn Féin Councillor J. J. Magee

● Tony Bell, Angela Lavin, Mary Ellen Campbell, Dessie Cassidy and Joe Austin

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