About Anna Catherine Parnell
Anna Catherine Parnell (13 May 1852 – 20 September 1911) was an Irish nationalist and younger sister of Irish Nationalist leader, Charles Stewart Parnell.
When it seemed that the Land League men were likely to be arrested, it was suggested that a women's league in Ireland could take over the work in their absence. Public opinion at the time was against women in politics, but Anna and her sister, Fanny Parnell (1848 - 1882), a poet, helped lead the Ladies' Land League.
When Charles Parnell and other leaders were imprisoned in 1881, as predicted, the Ladies' Land League took over their work. Offices were given to the ladies but little help. The women held public meetings and encouraged country women to be active in withholding rent, in boycotting and in resisting evictions. They raised funds for the League and for the support of prisoners and their families. They distributed Land League wooden huts to shelter evicted tenant families and by the beginning of 1882 they had 500 branches, thousands of women members and considerable publicity. Fanny Parnell died in 1882 at the age of thirty three.
Anna, whose nationalist fervor exceeded that of her brother, parted on bad terms with him over politics, and lived the rest of her life in the south of England under an assumed name. She wrote an angry account of her Land League experiences in Tale of a Great Sham, which was not published until 1986.
She never married. She drowned at Ilfracombe, Devon in 1911.