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Nan Hourigan (nee Ormond)

Waterford's Revolutionary Women 1916-1922

29. Nan Hourigan (nee Ormond)
Glasha, Ballymacarbry
Chairperson-Ballymacarbry Cumann na mBan

Nora Ormond born in 1895 in Glasha, Ballymacarbry, Co Waterford to John and Bridget Ormond. Nora was one four sisters and one brother and the family were actively involved throughout the War of Independence and Civil War. Nora was Chairperson of Ballymacarbry Cumann na mBan and many of the countries well known republicans stayed with them at Glansha. On the 16th April 1966, Nan Hourigan (Ormond) was interviewed by the Farmers Journal, the following is the only account available of her memories of this period of history.

'We were not wonderful fighters in Waterford but our reputation to boys on the run was well known. Nora remembers hundreds of men waiting to be fed at her childhood home in Glansha, Ballymacrabry. The Nire Valley was well known to every volunteer in the country and it was my job as President to organise meals, places to sleep, cleaning facilities and clean clothes. Many notable republicans visited us at Glansha including Dan Breen, Tom Barry, Frank Alken, Sean Hogan, Bill Quirke, Dinny Lacey, Liam Lynch, Grace Plunkett and Countess Markievicz. Nan recalls her memories of meeting the Countess Markievicz, as a woman of great vitality, any moment you expected her to take off."

Nora's grandmother was a great fan of Parnell and remembers on one occasion the Parish Priest came to the house for the annual stations and denounced her for having a picture of 'that reprobate Parnell' and turned it face inwards. A large picture of Pope Leo X111 was also hanging on the parlour wall and her grandmother immediately did the same with it, saying "if that is how you feel your reverence, in goes your man too".

The general run of the country people knew little of the 1916 rising according to Nora and "it was not until the following year that things became organised down here in Waterford. As well as the usual women's work of cooking, sewing, washing, we also studied first aid, signalling and drilling and all of the time was the never ending task of collecting and raising funds. In 1919, things for us really began to heat up with ambushes everywhere. The flying columns were moving on a daily basis and we never knew when our services would be called on. There was an awful lot of hardship, wet, hungry, and sick. A memory which stayed with Nora was the shooting of the RIC Superintendent from Cahir who was shot as a reprisal. It had to be done, she sadly remembers, but heavens knows how we hated it."

On the 6th February 1924 Nora Ormond married John Hourigan from Modeligo, Co Waterford.

Farmers Journal, 16th April 1966
1911 Census 

Author: Chrissy O'Connor Knight & Eddie Cantwell

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