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The island was home for many including those whose work required them to live here and for their families. For nearly 200 years there was a vibrant and close-knit island community with many children born and educated on the island.

Children who lived on the island included Nellie Organ who moved here with her family in 1905 when her father, a soldier in the British Royal Artillery, was stationed there. Following her mother’s death Nellie – a devout but sickly child – was sent to live with the Good Shepard Sisters in Cork. Because of her illness, Nellie made her first Communion in December 1907, shortly before her death in February 1908, aged only four years and five months.

She is now remembered as ‘Little Nellie of Holy God’ and is buried at the site of the old convent on the banks of the River Lee in Cork City. Partly as a result of her piousness, in 1910 Pope Pius X released a decree known as Quam Singulari, which lowered the age at which children could make their first Communion.
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