In times of peril : leaves from the diary of Nurse Linda Kearns from Easter week, 1916, to Mountjoy, 1921 / edited by Annie M.P. Smithson.
Smithson, Annie M.P. De Valera, Eamon, 1882-1975.
4 February 2016
Dublin : Talbot Press ; London : T. Fisher Unwin Ltd.,
Joseph McGarrity Books.
Kearns, Linda. Prisoners > Ireland > Diaries. Nurses > Biography. Ireland > History > Easter Rising, 1916.
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TRIAL AND COURTMARTIAL. 29
not feeling very fit after five months’ imprisonment.
and he actually refused me. I never could have
believed that a professional man could be so small-
minded, and I know that he allowed milk to the
common women from the streets of Belfast, who did
not require it as much as I did.
Christmas arrived, and some friends tried to get
me out of prison on parole for the holidays, but they
were refused, of course. Before leaving the subject
of Armagh Jail, I would like to say that of all the
five prisons in which I sojourned, Armagh was far
the best. The Governor was a woman, and a gentle-
woman in the true sense of the word. She was well
fitted for the post, and exceedingly capable in every
way. The food there was well cooked and cleanly
served, the discipline was excellent, and her sub-
ordinates were all most anxious to please their
Governor in every way. I afterwards found that she
was superior to the Governors of other jails in many
ways. For example, she adhered to the law that a
prisoner was innocent until found guilty, and that
the safe custody of the prisoner is a big considera-
tion. I was allowed an ordinary bed and ordinary
washing basin, while in Mountjoy the women await-
ing trial there had to sleep on plank beds. In
Armagh there were just a certain number of ordinary
beds, and these the Governor allotted to the political
prisoners as long as there was one unoccupied.
There were eight or nine women political prisoners
awaiting trial, but for some reason I was not allowed
to associate with them, although we met on odd
occasions and exchanged a few whispered sentences.
Towards the end of March, 1921, I was brought
to Belfast for the “summary of evidence,” and so