“They Allowed Her Sleep In Her Own House”

Immediately after the Easter Rising had ended the British military raided houses of people they thought were involved in the Rising or who were sympathetic to the Volunteers. Nell Humphreys, sister of ‘The’ O’Rahilly was arrested in one such raid in early May 1916.

Nell lived on Northumberland Road with her two sons, Richard and Emmet and her daughter Sighle. Richard had fought in the GPO during the Rising and was arrested after the surrender.

Nell was taken prisoner to the RDS in Ballsbridge. With no cells to hold her she was locked in a horsebox each day but every night she was brought home. Her daughter Sighle recalled.

They would march her home in the middle of the street with soldiers on both sides.

Nell Humphreys was transferred to Richmond Barracks some days later and was also imprisoned in Kilmainham Gaol.

Sighle Humphreys joined the Ranelagh Branch, Cumann na mBan in 1919.


Sighle Humphreys was interviewed for the programme 'Women Today' broadcast on RTÉ Radio 1, 19 March 1984. Photograph of the RDS, Cashman Collection courtesy of RTÉ Archives.

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