All posts tagged: Dugdale

Rose Dugdale, English heiress who became IRA militant, dies at 82

Rose Dugdale, English heiress who became IRA militant, dies at 82

One by one, the paintings were snatched from the walls at gunpoint. Only the most valuable were taken. A Vermeer. A Goya. A Velázquez and others. When the gang of Irish Republican Army raiders sped off into the night in April 1974 from an estate south of Dublin, 19 masterpieces were crammed into the car. Sitting amid the haul was the architect of the theft: Rose Dugdale, an Oxford-educated heiress who had once curtsied before Queen Elizabeth II during a debutante soiree at Buckingham Palace. Ms. Dugdale, who had left behind her previous life, saw the looted art as bargaining chips to free IRA prisoners. Instead, the paintings were recovered and she was jailed — capping her evolution as she embraced the IRA’s battle against British rule of Northern Ireland, including once leading an audacious attempt to bomb a police station from a hijacked helicopter. Ms. Dugdale, who died March 18 at a nursing facility in Dublin at the age of 82, also relished casting scorn on the upper-crust English background she rejected. Time magazine …

Rose Dugdale, English debutante turned IRA bomb maker, dies aged 83 | IRA

Rose Dugdale, English debutante turned IRA bomb maker, dies aged 83 | IRA

Rose Dugdale, who went from a background of wealth and privilege in England to become an IRA militant and bomb maker, has died in a Dublin nursing home aged 83. Dugdale was presented as a 17-year-old to Queen Elizabeth as part of the 1958 summer debutante season. Years later, in 1974, Dugdale was given a nine-year prison sentence, in part for her role in the theft of 19 paintings from the home of a wealthy British politician. The stolen art, belonging to Sir Alfred Beit, included works by Johannes Vermeer, Francisco Goya, Thomas Gainsborough and Peter Paul Rubens. Beit was tied up and struck with revolvers as the IRA gang took the paintings from their frames. It was not clear whether the group sought to sell the paintings, which were later recovered, or use them as ransom for political demands. During her trial, Dugdale declared herself “proudly and incorruptibly guilty” of offences against the state and described Britain as “the filthy enemy”. She was also involved in an IRA hijack of a helicopter, which she …

The enigma of Rose Dugdale: what drove a former debutante to become Britain and Ireland’s most wanted terrorist? | Film

The enigma of Rose Dugdale: what drove a former debutante to become Britain and Ireland’s most wanted terrorist? | Film

In 1958, 17-year-old Rose Dugdale was one of 1,400 young women who curtseyed before Queen Elizabeth II in the most prestigious event of the summer’s debutante season. It was the last time that the well-bred daughters of the most aristocratic and affluent families in the country would be presented to the monarch in a ritual that dated back 200 years. Princess Margaret, with characteristic hauteur, would later say: “We had to put a stop to it. Every tart in London was getting in.” For the fiercely independent Dugdale, being presented to the queen was a means to an end. She had agreed on the condition that her parents allowed her to attend the all-women St Anne’s College, Oxford, to study philosophy, politics and economics. Sixty years later she would recall the debutante season as “a horrible marriage market in which you were being sold as a commodity”. By then, she had travelled a lunar distance from her elite upbringing in rural Devon and London, the extraordinary arc of her volatile life perhaps most aptly condensed …