McKenna, Ellen Mary (Nellie)
Date of Birth: 15th February 1910
Place of Birth: Charleville, Co. Cork
Date Interviewed: 25th February 2010
Summary: Nellie McKenna celebrated her 100th birthday on the 15th February 2010 with a big party at Knockeen Nursing Home. She grew up on a farm near Charleville in Co. Cork. Her father built their house and her mother lived a “lady’s life” with a live-in cook and nurse to look after the children. Nellie has clear memories of the Black & Tans searching the house – a list of occupants had to be displayed on the back of the door and anyone missing was in danger of being shot! She recalls an incident where a local bridge was blown up by the IRA. After years living in Dublin she and her husband retired to Co. Wexford and spent 25 happy years in Duncannon. Nellie remembers Duncannon as being a “lovely place” but feels it is “spoiled now”. Nellie developed a love of painting when she was sent to FCJ boarding school in Limerick aged 13. She held an exhibition of her art in conjunction with her 100th party.