Nora Connolly O'Brien

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Nora Connolly O'Brien
In office
Constituency Nominated by the Taoiseach
Personal details
Born 1893
Nationality Irish
Political party Independent

Nora Connolly O'Brien (1893 – 17 June 1981) was an activist and writer; she was also a member of the Irish Senate.

The second daughter of James Connolly and Lillie Connolly, she was born in Scotland. In 1904, the family moved to the United States and moved to Belfast in 1907. In 1911, the family moved to Dublin where she was a founder member of the Young Republican Party, the female branch of the Fianna.[citation needed]

After the execution of her father following the Easter Rising in 1916, she became a lifelong supporter of the Irish republican movement and of the Irish left wing. In 1918, she toured the US lecturing on the Rising. She took part in the Irish War of Independence and was briefly imprisoned during the Irish Civil War. In 1922, she married Seamus O'Brien.

In 1934, Connolly O'Brien supported the Republican Congress movement, but resigned after it refused to become a political party. During the 1930s, she corresponded with Leon Trotsky and became a prominent figure on the European non-Stalinist Left. A close friend of the Connolly family William X. O'Brien later attempted to persuade the Irish government to offer asylum in Ireland for Trotsky.

From 1957 to 1969, she served three terms in the Seanad as one of the Taoiseach's nominees.

Shortly before her death in 1981, she spoke at the 1980 Ardfheis of Sinn Féin.


  • The Irish Rebell (1916)
  • The Unbroken Tradition (1918)
  • Portrait of a Rebel Father aka Born of a Rebel Father(1935)
  • James Connolly Wrote for Today – Socialism (1978)
  • We Shall Rise Again (1981, Mosquito Press)

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