Nora Humphreys (1917-2005), part 1
10.0020.00 Select options

Nora Humphreys (1917-2005), part 1


Want unlimited access to the Irish Life and Lore Oral History Archive? Subscribe by purchasing Gold Subscription, Silver Subscription or Bronze Subscription!

I was introduced to Nora Humphreys in October 2004 in Newport, Co Tipperary where she lived, and we spoke at length about her days in Clonbeg, Thurles, where she was born in 1917. She came from a family of seven children and was looked after by a nanny named Nell Devaney, who came to the family at the young age of 14 years. In June 1919, Nell decided to spend her day off at Thurles Races, and on her return home, she was alight with of excitement about the events of the day. The local District Inspector of police, Michael Hunt had been shot in the Square in the town. Inspector Hunt was a most unpopular individual, and he met his fate that day at the hands of two local boys, Sean Dunne and Jim Stapleton, both of whom were related to Nora’s mother. “Big Jim” Stapleton and Sean Dunne had had the Inspector under observation since leaving the racetrack and on reaching the Square, Stapleton dr ew his revolver and shot him at close range. Immediately Canon Ryan ran from across the Square to administer the last rites. Stapleton and Dunne ran from the scene, up Post Office Lane and scaled an eight foot wall to make their escape. They crossed the river three times that night as they made their way to Ryan Lacken’s house at Knockfune. Matt Larkin was sent for and he arrived from Clonacke with a horse and trap. He brought the two boys to Killaloe, where they were met by friends who looked after them. Sean Dunne was very ill with pneumonia and needed constant care. He was later to become a captain in the Irish Army, and died at the tragically young age of 27 years. Nora spoke eloquently of life in rural Tipperary in her young days and had interesting things to say about the mood of the ordinary people in the countryside in the early part of the 20th century. She sang for me that evocative old song “The Three Flowers” recalling three great men who shaped our history, and who are remembered with great pride in this old ballad. Sadly Nora Humphreys passed away in May 2005.

Additional information



Audio series:

Witnesses to Independence


128 kbps

Download time limit:

48 hours

File size(s):

65.02 MB

Number of files:


Product ID:



Events in Thurles

Recorded by:

Eddie Barrett (grand-nephew of Austin Stack)