Nuala and Nell

The last hours of Nuala O'Faolain were anguished as she choked and begged for help, while still at home. She had wanted to die at home rather than to be taken to a hospice. She needed morphine but her friends could not access this for her, as general practitioners were either not available or could not supply morphine in the form of a liquid drip. Eventually, she was moved to a hospice, where she died peacefully a few hours later.


Her former partner, Nell McCafferty, was distraught to hear of this ordeal later and the unavailability of morphine to help Nuala O'Faolain through her final hours.

In part, the sympathy and emotion generated by the news of the imminent death of Nuala O'Faolain and then the death, was attributed to respect for the relationship that existed for 15 years between Nuala O'Faolain and Nell McCafferty, and in part also in affection and respect for Nell herself. Nell McCafferty in many ways has shaped the national identity. Her humour, her humanity, the bluntness of her honesty, even her vagaries. The way she articulated the demands for women's equality. Her early journalism, exposing the injustices of the justice system at district court level, her radio and TV persona. She has become a national treasure.