Juno and the Paycock, Twinkle Toes – Women and indirect relationships with the IRA

My proposal focuses on the IRA and how the organization affected women. Characters from Juno and the Paycock as well as characters from Twinkle Toes would be used as subjects for the analyzation. These two pieces possess strong female leads and so they provide a better insight into the effects of the IRA. Because of this, they seem ideal for this proposal. It will be argued that the relationships between the women and the IRA were common among Irish women. Both relationships reflect the negatives that women experienced when indirectly involved with the IRA.


These relationships are an integral part of Irish history as most women were indirectly involved with the IRA due to either husbands or sons being members of the organization. In Juno and the Paycock, the son is taken and presumably killed by the IRA. In Twinkle Toes, the main character is essentially married to the IRA because she married one of its members. This results in her being stuck with a man who is in prison. Although these relationships may be paralleled to some other modern relationship with mobs or gangs, actual perspectives from Irish women are necessary to get an accurate representation of what occurred.


This topic is interesting because our course has already explained how women were essential parts of the IRA yet, we have not looked too much into the women who were not directly involved. These relationships can really only be analyzed through performance pieces such as the ones mentioned above as there is not much written about them. Inferences can very obviously be made from previous knowledge about the IRA and how brutal/family-oriented they are, however primary sources would certainly help verify many of these inferences. Other individuals who take an interest in the entire history of Irish women, not just those directly involved with the IRA, may find this relevant and appealing.