As we evaluate issues of gender and sexuality through the twentieth century, one fundamental problem faced by Irish feminism was its difficult relationship to nationalism. There were many women participants in the Irish Nationalist and Republican agitations of the Revival period, most famously Maud Gonne, Countess Markievicz and Hanna Sheehy-Skeffington. There were highly divergent views as to whether nationalism and feminism shared the same emancipatory agenda, whether feminism was an equalizing pre-requisite to nationalism, or whether national liberation must come first and then facilitate the emancipation of women once the national question had been resolved. Sheehy-Skeffington was clear that feminism had both the priority and the means to transform society more broadly in advance of national freedom. Her sense of the disempowerment of women did not just include British rule in Ireland — hence, she asks of female subjection:
■ The result of Anglicization? This is partly true; much of the evil is, however, inherent in latter-day Irish life. Nor will the evil disappear, as we are assured, when Ireland comes to her own again, whenever that may be. For until the women of Ireland are free, the men will not achieve emancipation.