The woman is offered meal and a silver coin, but she refuses such help.
Cathleen ni Houlihan Cathleen ni Houlihan, “The Poor Old Woman,” who symbolizes impoverished Ireland, seeking independence from British rule.
A stranger, she has come to the countryside of Killala to enlist the help of the Irish in retrieving her four stolen fields.
She entrances Michael Gillane into leaving his home and joining her cause.
His sacrifices and those of others transform her old age into youth. Michael Gillane Michael Gillane, a young man scheduled to be married the day after he meets Cathleen ni Houlihan.
His life is full of promise; he is engaged to a pretty girl whose parents have given a dowry of one hundred pounds.
He rejects domestic bliss, however, to fight for Ireland.
In joining the French forces against the British, he risks his life, knowing that death will bring eternal fame.
Peter Gillane Peter Gillane, Michael’s father, a farmer who is much interested in the dowry brought by his future daughter-in-law.
The four short works collected in this book were among the earliest plays to be authored collaboratively by W. To what extent should artists engage directly with Nationalist politics?
Written in the pivotal years during which the "Irish Literary Theatre" experiment of 1899–1901 began to evolve into what would become the Abbey Theatre, they show both writers engaging with questions central to the early Irish dramatic movement: How should "Irishness" be represented on the stage?
And what role might literature play in the creation of a new Ireland?