This is a photo of Cumann na mBan women from the Northside of Cork City, whose headquarters was at Tomás MacCurtáin Hall, 69, Shandon Street, Cork City. In it is my mother, Mary Anne Lane, front line, extreme left. She was the daughter and only child of Christopher Lane and Mary Margaret Murphy and was born on 26th February 1913. I have reason to assume that the photo was taken in 1933 when she was 20 years of age. Whilst I don’t know the names of all in the photo, I do have the following to add. You will notice that the woman next to my mother is looking back to another person in the back row. Well, my mother told me that was Síle MacCurtáin (23) looking back to her sister Síobhan Mac Curtáin (24), both of who were the daughters of Tomás MacCurtáin, Lord Mayor of Cork, who was killed by British Forces in 1920 at his home in Blackpool, Cork City. Those two daughters were present when he was murdered in front of his wife and family.
In my childhood (Jim Lane) and later, my mother told me much about her childhood under British Rule, of being present at the age of 8, at the removal of the 6 ‘Ballycannon Boys’ into the North Cathedral in 1921. Those lads were all shot dead by British Forces in Cork in the middle of the night while sleeping. She told me also of British Forces trying to entice young people into their lorry on Gerald Griffin Street, with a song which went like this — ” If you’re Irish come into the lorry, Ther’s a welcome here for you” and so on. But they had the good sense to run home. My mother joined Cumann na Cailiní in the early 1920’s and at a later time, she graduated to Cumann na mBan. She often mentioned their activities and how she enjoyed going to Bodenstown, Co. Kildare most years to honour Wolfe Tone. My mother married another Lane in 1937. He was Michael Noel Lane, a nephew of Nora Martin nee O’Brien.