The Journal of Caribbean History: Volume 44, Issue 1

Article 3
Kay Donnellan, Irishwoman, and Radicalism in Trinidad, 1938–1941

Susan Campbell


During the early stages of World War II, British subjects who refused to support the Imperial war-effort wholeheartedly found themselves in peril. In 1940 two Irishwomen, who in class and “race” terms had transgressed what colonialist society deemed “respectable” behaviour, were fired from their teaching positions at St Joseph’s Convent, Port of Spain. The following year, the colonial authorities interned the two women. One allegedly escaped, only to drown; the other remained interned for the remainder of the war. This essay situates the fate of these women at a particular moment in the tumultuous history of Trinidad, just before and during the early stages of the war.