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Eilís Ní Riain (Uí Chonaill)

Street: St Joseph's Street
Town/Village: Dublin
Civil Parish:
Catholic Parish:
Alternative Address: Listreenagh, Legan; 23 Vernon Grove, Clontarf, Dublin
Census 1901:
Census 1911:
Regiment/Unit: Árd Craobh (Central Branch), Cumann na mBan, Dublin
Regiment Number:
Date of Death:

Eilís was born in 1891 in Listreenagh near Legan. She worked in Dublin and joined the Keating Branch of the Gaelic League and the Central Branch of Cumann na mBan, the latter after Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa’s funeral in 1915.

Eilís and her sister Áine mobilised with other women on Easter Monday, but received no orders. That evening she volunteered at the GPO and was sent across the street to Reis’s Chambers (where there was telegraph equipment). On Tuesday, she and the Elliott sisters volunteered to join the Four Courts garrison. Rather than serving in the Four Courts, they were sent to the Fr Mathew Hall, Church Street, where there was a first aid station. On Saturday, in the final stages of the rising, the wounded were evacuated from the hall and taken to the Richmond Hospital, which was close by. There Eilís met the distinguished surgeon, Sir Thomas Myles. She later recounted the meeting thus:

... he put his hand on my shoulder and I thought he was going to have me arrested. But he just asked whether we had got any sleep during the week. I said no and he patted my shoulder, saying we girls had done Trojan work with the wounded.

Eilís escaped arrest after the surrender because she and her comrades slept in a room off the Capuchin church and mingled with the congregation at early Mass on Sunday.

She remained active in Cumann na mBan and worked to support prisoners and their families. In 1920, Eilís went to work in the Department of Labour, headed by Countess Markievicz, who was minister. She married Seán Ó Conaill, a member of the IRA, in 1921. In later years, Eilís served as president of the Association of Old Cumann na mBan. Eilís Uí Chonaill died in 1981.


Parents Names: Daughter of Michael Ryan and Elizabeth (née Carroll), Listreenagh

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