Daly women | Letters 1916-1923

Women in the Daly collection

We need your detective skills to help us find out more information about the women in the Daly collection which we recently acquired  from Kerry County Archives. We have already processed some of the Daly letters which are available to read and transcribe in our ‘Civil War, 1922-1923’ collection. We are working to get the rest of this expansive collection online.

Daly collection

Greeting card from the Daly collection
Greeting card from the Daly collection

The letters concern Irish republican Charlie Daly, who rejected the peace treaty with Britain and was subsequently captured and imprisoned at Drumboe Castle in County Donegal, where he was executed on 14 March 1923.

As we’ve explored the collection, one very interesting feature which has emerged is the fact that women comprise approximately 70% of the correspondence. And despite researching Charlie Daly’s story and family, many of the women within the network remain unknown.

What we know so far 

Throughout his life, Charlie Daly regularly corresponded with his mother, Ellen Daly, but his sisters and female friends of the family also exchanged letters with him and with each other.

The women in Daly’s network pursued different careers. For example:

  • Katie Maria O’Sullivan, a distant cousin of the Dalys, was a teacher at a local school
  • Katherine (Kattie) Allman entered a religious order and became known as Sr. Gertrude.
May Daly
May Daly

One thing which they all had in common was that they actively responded to the events of their time, for instance Mary Daly (May), Charlie’s oldest sister, was active in the Irish Republican movement and ran as an election candidate in North Kerry for Sinn Féin in the 1957 general election.

We have added what we know so far to the table below. If you can help us fill in any of the gaps, please get in touch.



The women

NameAlso known asDate of birthDate of deathInformation to date
Ellen DalyEllen Healy18691964mother of Charlie Daly
Susan HealyGranc. 18461932 mother of Ellen Daly
Mary DalyMay Daly19001982sister of Charlie Daly
Susan DalySusan Casey; Susie Daly; Susie Casey19021983sister of Charlie Daly
Nora DalyHanoria; Norah19071928sister of Charlie Daly
Ellen DalyNellie Daly; Ellen Mary19101930sister of Charlie Daly
Nancy DalyAnne19121993sister of Charlie Daly
Katie Maria O'SullivanK.M; Katiec. 1892unknownteacher at local school and distant cousin of the Daly family
Josie O'Sullivanc. 1901unknownsister of Katie Maria
Judy Dalyunknownunknown
Lizzie KelliherElizabeth Daly; Lizzie Daly18811938neighbour of the Daly family
Katherine AllmanKattie Allman; Sr Gertrude; Cáitc. 1908unknownfriend of the Daly family / Catholic nun
Mollie O'Connor unknownunknownfriend of the Daly family
Sheila Dooganunknownunknownfriend of Charlie Daly / possibly from Kingstown/Dún Laoghaire
Mrs MacFeely unknownunknownfriend of the family / possibly from Daisyhill
Mrs Mary Kellyunknownunknownfriend of Charlie Daly
Kathleen Durcanunknownunknown

Share your information with us

Greeting card from the Daly collection
Greeting card from the Daly collection

You can see that there are lots of gaps in the table above & we hope you can help us to fill in these gaps!

There are a number of different ways to get in touch with us to share any leads you might have. You can:


a note to the O'Dálaigh family | Letters 1916-1923
a note to the O’Dálaigh family

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