Civilian Nellie Carey

Civilian Nellie Carey (aged 19) of Redmond Street, Fermoy (Mill Road, Fermoy)

Date of incident: 18 March 1921 (fatally wounded by IRA)

Sources: FJ, 22 March, 31 Dec. 1921; II, 22 March 1921; CC, 25 March 1921; Connaught Telegraph, 26 March 1921; CWN, 2 April 1921; CE, 14 May 1921; Military Inquests, WO 35/147A/38 (TNA); Register of Compensation Commission (Ireland) Cases of Private Persons (CO 905/15); William Buckley’s WS 1009, 19 (BMH); William C. Regan’s WS 1069, 9 (BMH).


Note: Nellie Carey was mortally wounded at Mill Road in Fermoy on 18 March 1921. She ‘was, according to an official report, in the company of soldiers at a fancy fair when they were fired on, two of the soldiers being also hit’. She was the daughter of the labourer Thomas Carey of Redmond Street, Fermoy. She died on Sunday, 20 March, at the Fermoy Military Hospital. See II, 22 March 1921.

Her remains were removed from the military hospital to St Patrick’s Church, where Mass was offered for the repose of her soul. Her coffin was covered with the Union Jack, and the band of the Buffs Regiment played ‘The Dead March of Saul’. A number of military and police marched behind her coffin in the funeral procession. Carey had served as a Land Girl during the Great War. She was interred at Castle Hyde. See CWN, 2 April 1921; CE, 14 May 1921; Register of Compensation Commission (Ireland) Cases of Private Persons (CO 905/15). 

Former Volunteer William C. Regan of the Doneraile Company (Castletownroche Battalion) observed in passing in his BMH witness statement that in mid-March 1921 most of the members of the Castletownroche Battalion column ‘had gone to Fermoy to do a shooting job in the town as a reprisal for some executions in Dublin’. See William C. Regan’s WS 1069, 9 (BMH). Former Volunteer William Buckley also referred to this project, whose purpose was again said to be ‘to carry out reprisals for some executions which had taken place in Dublin’. The plan was to shoot soldiers on sight: ‘Only two soldiers were to be seen in Fermoy. Both were fired on and wounded, I think,’ recalled Buckley. See William Buckley’s WS 1009, 19 (BMH). This action resulted in the fatal wounding of Nellie Carey.

Ellen (Nellie) Carey was in 1911 one of the seven children (five sons and two daughters) of the Fermoy labourer Thomas Carey and his wife Margret, then resident at 28 Cross Street in that garrison town. Then aged 8, Nellie was the youngest member of this Catholic family.    

The Irish Revolution Project

Scoil na Staire /Tíreolaíocht

University College Cork, Cork,