Drogheda, Co. Louth

54 Chord Street, Drogheda, county Louth was the home of the Balfe family of five girls and five boys. Kathleen was born in 1893 and in 1917 she joined Cumann na mBan and became secretary. From 1919 to 1921, she was involved in the Anglo-Irish War of Independence (1919-21) visiting prisoners in the RIC barracks. delivering intelligence and she carried a machine gun uner her coat to Ballapousta in preparation for an attack on the RIC barracks in Ardee. Kathleen survived the conflict and was the first woman elected to the local council in 1967. She died in 1984. Mary her sister born in 1898 was weaver in the Boyne Mills and she also joined Cumann na mBan in 1917 and undertook mission. She died in 1975 and was buried with military honours. 

Kathleen Dempsey nee Balfe

Kathleen Dempsey nee Balfe, front, third left and other Cumann na mBan members, Central Hotel, Peter Street

Drogheda, county Louth. Irish Independent, 12 March 2012.