'Radical women' tell their story in Bernadette Hyland's new book
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'Radical women' tell their story in Bernadette Hyland's new book

IF there is one thing this new book shows, it is that radical women come from all walks of life.

Second-generation Irishwoman Bernadette Hyland was a keen blogger long before she ventured into the world of books.

But recently she decided to bite the bullet and wrote Northern ReSisters after she saw the interest her blog was generating.

Now, the book is on sale and details the story of nine “radical women” who she has featured over the course of her blogging.

“I write a blog [Lipstick Socialist] and I have interviewed several women on it,” Ms Hyland explains. “When I put them up, people said they were really interesting and said they should be in a book, so that was where the idea came from.”

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The result is a compendium of the stories of nine women - from all sorts of backgrounds - who have been active in social and political movements over the past 40 years.

While the book features women from all walks of life, those who were involved in the Irish social and political landscape hold a particular relevance to Ms Hyland.

The writer, whose parents hail from counties Mayo and Roscommon, is featured in the book herself – while she also features Honor Donnelly, a woman who has had a rollercoaster life.

Ms Donnelly tells the author: “My Mum had a thing about the Black and Tans. But she was made to feel ashamed of her Irish background. She was ashamed of her childhood poverty too and bought into respectability rather than simply a British identity which she saw as a way out of poverty and as a step up.”

As a result of this working class attitude, Ms Donnelly's education was disrupted and after living in various children’s homes, she eventually left school at 15.

Despite these humble beginnings Ms Donnelly went on to educate herself and is now actively involved with campaigning against the Bedroom Tax.

Northern ReSisters retails for £5.95 and is available to buy from the Mary Quaile Club, 6 Andrew Street, Mossley Lancashire OL5 0DN or online at the Mary Quaile Club's website.

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