Identity Statement for Elgin O'Rahilly

  • Reference code: IE UCDA P200
  • Title: Papers of Elgin O'Rahilly (1903–97)
  • Dates: 1917–89
  • Level of description: Fonds
  • Extent: 9 boxes
  • Context
  • Content and Structure
  • Conditions of Access and Use
  • Allied Material

Biographical History

Born in Dublin in 1903 to Mary Dowling and Thomas Barry, Elgin O'Rahilly (née Barry), sister of Kevin Barry, was educated at the Convent of the Holy faith in Clarendon Street and Loreto Convent, St Stephen's Green. Married Richard McEllistrim O'Rahilly, known as Mac, son of The O'Rahilly and Nancy Brown, in 1935 and had four children, Michael, Ann, Ruth and Celie. Imprisoned in the North Dublin Union in 1923 and went on hunger strike. Released in December 1923. Active in Cumann na mBan from approximately 1917. In 1928 Elgin travelled to America to raise funds for Mary MacSwiney's  school, Scoil Íte. Between 1966 and 1967 she served on the committee to establish the Nurse Elizabeth O'Farrell foundation resulting in the unveiling of a memorial plaque in Holles Street Hospital and a foundation to support postgraduate studies in the field of nursing. She died on 10 October 1997.

Archival History

This collection was deposited in UCD Archives in July 2004 by Michael O'Rahilly, Elgin's son. 


Scope and Content

Statements, decrees, memoranda, and correspondence relating to the Republican Government (1919–23). Includes correspondence between Eamon de Valera and ministers Austin Stack and P.J. Rutledge, and legal advisor Michael Comyn K.C.

Series of letters from her mother and sisters during her imprisonment and hunger strike in the North Dublin Union (1923)

Files of correspondence, accounts, reports, newspaper cuttings, address books, diaries concerning her fundraising tour of America on behalf of the St Ita's High School Endowment Fund Committee (1928–30). Includes a file of correspondence between Mary MacSwiney and Elgin (1928–29).

Correspondence, statements of accounts, and receipts relating to the work of the Irish National Aid Association (1931–33). Also includes lists of prisoners, specimen letters, statements and correspondence from released prisoners , terms of reference, newspapers cuttings, and minutes relating to the work of the Commission of Inquiry into the Treatment of Political Prisoners (1931–36). Correspondence, circulars, and newspaper cuttings concerning the trial of Michael Conway (1936).

Cumann na mBan organisational material including copies of the constitution, agendas of meetings, reports and resolutions, and accounts (1919–49); membership material including correspondence and lists of branches (1931–35). Accounts and correspondence of the Easter Lily Committee (1928–37). Publicity material (1930–36) and a draft of a memoir by Máire Comerford (1956).

Correspondence, lists of subscribers, publicity leaflet, and newspaper cuttings relating to the work of the Nurse Elizabeth O'Farrell Foundation committee (1965–69).

Photographs of her brother Kevin Barry, messages of sympathy and newspaper cuttings relating to his execution (1921) and memorial literature, poems, ballads, booklets, and pamphlets commemorating his life and death (1921–89).

Also includes pamphlets, bulletins, souvenir programmes, handbills and serial publications relating to the independence movement and republican causes and organisations (1915–28).

Small amount of material relating to her marriage (1935) and some personal mementos (1921–66).


  • Access: Available by appointment to holders of a UCD Archives reader's ticket. Produced for consultation in microform.
  • Language: English
  • Finding aid: Descriptive catalogue

Papers of Kevin Barry IE UCDA P93

Papers of Máire Comerford IE UCDA LA18

Papers of Eithne Coyle O'Donnell IE UCDA P61

Papers of Sighle Humphreys IE UCDA P106

Papers of Mary MacSwiney IE UCDA P48a

Papers of Lily O'Brennan IE UCDA P13