Born in Belfast in 1957, Rosaleen McCorley left school at 17 to work in the Northern Ireland Housing Executive where she worked until the time of her arrest in 1990. She was sentenced to 66 years for the attempted murder of an army officer and possession of explosives. She obtained two degrees and a postgraduate diploma while in prison. Here she expresses how the other female prisoners greatly affected her – ‘I often found myself feeling greatly humbled by their stories and the sacrifices they made in their personal lives for the struggle, particularly those women who were mothers.’ After serving 9 years, McCorley was released, the first republican woman freed under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement. Rosaleen McCorley was elected to the Northern Ireland Assembly as a member of Sinn Féin between 2012 and 2016.
This documentary series explores the involvement of women in active service with the IRA in modern times. It tells their personal stories and what impact their actions had on the conflict in the North of Ireland and on politics in the Republic. The series is part of The Loopline Collection Volume 2. To watch more of the collection click here.