Helena Moloney was born in 1884 in Dublin. At the age of 19, she joined Inghinidhe na hÉireann and later became the editor of their magazine, Bean na hÉireann
. Influenced by her idol, Maud Gonne
, Helena gave her all for Republicanism and took a socialist stance.
In 1907, after convincing James Connolly to return to Ireland, she helped him organise many Dublin workers into trade unions. Two years later, she was key in the founding of the Countess Markievicz's Na Fianna Eireann
Involving herself in the ongoing Gaelic Revival
, she began a career as an actress at the Abbey Theatre
in Dublin. But the lock-out and the rising would put an end to any hope she had of carrying on her acting dreams. During her rehearsals, on break she would often step out to nearby Liberty Hall to give lectures to the workers congregating there.
In 1911, Helena Moloney was arrested in Grafton Street for riotous behavior during George V's visit to Ireland. Later that year, along with Connolly and a number of other women, she helped organise the Irish Women Workers' Union
, eventually becoming that organisation's secretary in 1915.
A member of the Irish Citizen Army
from 1913 onward, she took part in the Easter Rising
. She was positioned at Dublin Castle and upon surrender she was taken to England and imprisoned in Ailesbury Gaol. During her 8 months in the British prison, she attempted to escape by digging her way out with a spoon. As a result, the female prisoners were no longer allowed to eat with utensils.
During the Tan War
, she supported the IRA in a political way. Upon the signing of the treaty, she vocally opposed the partition of Ireland. She was unwilling to accept to anything less a free Ireland from coast to coast, from center to sea.
She was elected the president of the Irish Trade Union Congress
in the late 20's and in the 1930's she was on the executives of Saor Eire and the League Against Imperialism. She involved herself in Republican politics with positions in the Women's Prisoner's Defense League and the People's Rights Association. In 1934, Fianna Fail began interring republicans, outlawing the Saor Eire group. Prompted by this injustice against those who put the FF'ers in power, Helena called a meeting at College Green. Over 12,000 attended the rally to hear Helena and Maud speak out against the beginning of the Free State's anti-Republican venom.
Maloney retired from politics in 1945. On January 28th, 1967, Helena Moloney died. She was a great Irishwomen and a Republican socialist. She was interred in the Republican plot of Glasnevin Cemetery outside Dublin.