O'Leary, Ellen

Title

O'Leary, Ellen

Description

Bibliographic Dictionary Entry

Date

1831-1889

Creator

O'Toole, Tina

Source

Munster Women Writers Project, University College Cork

Publisher

Women in Irish Society Project, University College Cork

Rights

CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

Coverage

Munster, Ireland, 1800-2000

Format

Text

Language

en

Type

Text

Subject

Women, Writers, Munster

Contributor

O'Toole, Tina

Birth Date

1831

Death Date

1889

Birthplace

Tipperary, Co Tipperary

Place of Association

Dublin

Biographical Text

Sister of John O'Leary, the Fenian, she herself was active in revolutionary politics. She began her writing and political career working for The Irish People, a Fenian paper run by her brother. She went on to contribute poetry to The Nation, The Irish Monthly, and other periodicals in Ireland, and the USA. Colman recounts the conflicting stories surrounding her romance with Edward Duffy, a Fenian and close friend of her brother's: different accounts state that it was variously Ellen, or her half-sister Mary, who was engaged to Duffy (177). However, in 1867 Duffy was arrested and died in solitary confinement in Millbank prison. <br><br>During her brother's exile in the early 1880s, Ellen lived in Tipperary, working with the poor, through the Society of St.Vincent de Paul, and with the Ladies' Land League. She was also a member of the Sacred Heart Society, according to Colman (178). In 1885 when John O'Leary came home, they lived together quietly in Rathmines, Co.Dublin. Soon after his return, she was diagnosed with cancer, and she died in Cork in 1889 on a final visit to family members. A volume of her poetry was published posthumously, and her work was included in various anthologies.

Writing Genre

Poetry
Political Writing

Geolocation