Dolours Price came from a thoroughly republican family. Both her parents were IRA veterans but the greatest influence on her was her mother's sister, Bridget 'Bridie' Dolan.
Dolan was born in 1911 into a strongly republican family in Belfast and along with her sisters she joined Cumann na mBan, the women's IRA. They had their first brush with the authorities when they refused to remove their Easter lilies while returning home from a 1916 Easter Rising commemorative mass in St Patrick's Chapel in Donegall Street. The group were sentenced to prison terms of between two weeks and one month and they served their sentences in the women's prison in Armagh.
Bridie Dolan was badly injured in 1938 when a package of grenades exploded as she was moving them from one IRA dump to another. Both her hands were blown off, her face was hideously disfigured and she was blinded. This was the period when the IRA was working, through its Irish-American associates, to prepare for another terrorist campaign and to secure the help of the Nazis.
In spite of her injuries she continued to dedicate her life to Irish republicanism and attended republican events throughout the rest of her life. At the funeral of Joe Cahill on 27 July 2004, Gerry Adams gave an oration and in it he mentioned Bridie Dolan as another one of those who 'came forward' in 1969, giving her support to the Provisional IRA.
Bridie Dolan died on 9 February 1975 and she was given a full republican funeral 'with military honours'. Her name appears in republican publications as Volunteer Bridie Dolan of Cumann na mBan.
Much of the above information is copied from a memorial tile in the IRA garden of reflection at Moyard House, home of the Roddy McCorley Club and Irish Republican Museum, in West Belfast. This tile gives the date of the accidental explosion as the 1940s rather than 1938 but in either case the explosion happened in the period when the IRA was collaborating with the Nazis.
There are several things that strike me in the story of Bridie Dolan and her niece Dolours Price.
(1) It is interesting to see how many of the leading Provisional IRA activists came from strongly republican families which had been involved in militant IRA republicanism for generations.
(2) Bridie Dolan was an example of the fanaticism of militant republicanism. In spite of the injuries she received in the accidental explosion all those years ago she remained totally dedicated to the cause. Neither did the explosion deter her two nieces Dolours and Marion Price from joining the IRA. They had seen at first hand the awful effects of terrorism but they too became committed terrorists.