Una Moran

(19/08/1895 - 12/11/1976)

Una Moran (Una Ni Mhodhrain), born 19th August 1895 to Lewis J Moran and Mary Jane Malone in Ballysax, Curragh, Kildare. She was the youngest child of a large family which included Eamonn(1881), Mary Jane(1883), James Parnell(1885), Ann Maria(1886), Ann Marie(1888), Theresa Mary(1889) Clare Louise(1891) and Louis James(1893). Her father Lewis died in 1896, the year after she was born.

Revolutionary Period

Una Nolan was an integral member of the Central Branch of Cumann na mBan from its inception in 1914, rising to the position of section leader by 1915. She received a Military service pension for the period of 1 April 1920 and 31 March 1923 during the War of Independence, Truce period and Civil War.

In her account, Nolan recounts her involvement with Seamus O’Connor, a solicitor and member of the Volunteer Executive, where she assisted in managing substantial sums of money. On Holy Thursday, April 20, 1916, she received instructions from Sean McDermott to deliver a dispatch to Byrne in Kildare, although she returned without finding him. Subsequently, she received orders to mobilise her section upon her return to Dublin and later demobilised them on Easter Sunday. Despite being away in Kildare during Easter week, Nolan managed to return on Good Friday and played a role in providing supplies to Thomas Ashe while he was imprisoned in the Curragh, later participating in his funeral procession. She also engaged in distributing propaganda related to the Mountjoy hunger strikes.

Throughout the War of Independence, Nolan participated in various activities typical of Cumann na mBan members, including attending meetings and parades, receiving training in signalling, first aid, and nursing, as well as sending parcels to prisoners. Testimonials from individuals like Leslie Bean Thomáis de Barra and Ellen Parker affirm Nolan’s involvement in fundraising for the Irish Volunteer Headquarters Arms Fund and supporting the Irish Republican Prisoner’s Dependents Fund (IRPDF). Additionally, Referee Eilís Bean Uí Chonaill confirms Nolan’s role in the Special Rifle and Revolver Squad, and her significant responsibilities in handling large sums of money (on occasion over £12,000) and gold for the Trustees of the Dáil keeping them safe until required again by Ó Donnchadha, Cathal Brugha or Gearóid Ó Suilleaváin.

Una became a member of the Cumann na mBan unit stationed at Barry’s Hotel until the evacuation on July 3rd. Alongside her comrades, she ventured out amidst gunfire to assess the National Army’s position. Their confirmation of safety prompted the evacuation order. Nolan asserts that she remained behind until ensuring all other women had evacuated, per her orders, making her the final person to depart Barry’s Hotel.

Nolan’s contributions extended into the Truce period, during which she continued attending meetings, fundraising, and aiding prisoners. Her bravery was further demonstrated during the Civil War, where she remained active in Cumann na mBan despite the challenges. Moreover, her residence in Glasnevin served as a crucial hub for IRA and Cumann na mBan officers, providing shelter and assistance to individuals like Mick, Charlie, and Leslie Price, and even arranging medical attention for wounded individuals.

Even after the cease-fire, Nolan remained steadfast in her commitment to Cumann na mBan, continuing her efforts in fundraising, support, and aid for prisoners until their eventual release.

Una and her sister Treasa appear in a photo in August, 1921 at Tom and Leslie Barry’s wedding in Vaughan’s Hotel, Parnell square, Dublin.  The image shows many important political people of the time.

Left to right, seated on ground: Dick Cotter, Bob Price, Eoin Price Phllis Ryan, (Mrs Sean T Kelly), Gearoid O’Sullivan.
First row seated: Mairin McCavock, Harry Boland, Mrs Jennie Wyse Power, Archdeacon PP, Mrs Price, Liam Deasy, Leslie Bean de Barra, President de Torn Barry, Dr Nancy Wyse Power, Mr Price, Miss Mary McSwiney, Countess Markiwiez.

First row standing: Sean Lehane, Kathleen Kerrigan, Jack Price, Peter Kearney, Jim Hurley, Ted Sullivan, Michael Collins, Sean McCarthy, Mick Crowley, Dick Mulcahy Mrs O’Donovan, Eoin O’ Duffy, Mrs Tom Cullen, Kathleen Phelan, behind is Liam Tobin’s forehead, Emmet Dalton, Maire O’Reilly (big hat), Tom Cullen, Aoife Taafe, Rory O’Connor, Susan Callum, behind is Sean Fr Tom Duggan, Fiona Plunkett, Treasa Ni Mhodhrain, Dan Corkery, Una Ni Mhodhrain, Tadhg Sullivan is behind Sean Buckley, Eileen Callum,

Second row standing: Proprietor of Vaughan’s Hotel, Sean Hales, Liam Devlin, Vincent Gogan, Paddy Dalton, Mick Price and O’Reilly (Bantry).

Una’s brother Eamonn was an active in the Gaelic League, was arrested and imprisoned in 1916 and prominent in the War of Independence and Civil War. Her sister Treasa was also a member of Cumann na mBan.

On 23rd June 1933, Una married Sean Nolan from Thornvilla (off Rutland Avenue). They lived in 372 Lower Kimmage Road for the majority of their married lives. Sean, Sheriff of the Co. Borough of Dublin died in 1955 while on holiday with Una in Italy.

Una died on 12 November 1976, the service being held in Whitefriar church, Aungier Street and she was laid to rest in Mount Jerome Cemetery.

Person Photo
Connection with area: Member of Cumann na mBan, married Sean Nolan of Thornvilla, Crumlin Road and lived in 372 Lower Kimmage Road