MARGARET SKINNIDER was born in Coatbridge, Lanarkshire, in 1893. She trained as a maths teacher and moved to Glasgow. While there, she became involved with Cumann na mBan, a women’s organization founded in Dublin in 1914, and the women’s suffrage movement. She also learned to shoot at a rifle club. She made many trips to Ireland, sometimes smuggling detonators and wires for bombs under her clothes. During the rising Skinnider performed various roles, including scout, messenger, and sniper. She was ultimately shot while attempting to burn down some houses to cut off the British retreat. She was arrested, but due to her injuries was permitted to stay in hospital, from which she escaped and fled to Scotland. Later that year, she left for New York, where she wrote this book as well as touring and fundraising for the republican cause. She later returned to Ireland, where she spent some time in prison during the War of Independence. Her later life was spent teaching, and she never stopped fighting for the rights of women. She died in Glenageary in 1971.
Kirsty Lusk is a doctoral candidate at the University of Glasgow. She received her mPhil in Irish Writing from Trinity College Dublin and holds an ma (Hons) in English Literature from the University of Glasgow. She is currently researching Scottish-Irish connections in the late 19th and early 20th century from a literary perspective in order to explore the legacy of independence, equality and commemoration within a comparative Irish-Scottish framework.