Jerry Kiely was one of the great personalities of the Third Tipperary Brigade, a man of immense courage, highly intelligent and with a great sense of humour. He was loved by children and old people wherever he stayed.
Ernie O’Malley writing of Jerry stated “His face was brown under thick black hair, which he carefully combed. He held his head to one side. He spoke rapidly, he was good company around a fireside. I could often hear his songs at night-time”. Kiely was a man of vision and a deep thinker, who sought military action.
He was not prepared to be a pen and pencil soldier during the War of Independence. He was known and respected by most of the leading IRA officers in Munster. Few is any of his comrade in the Third Tipperary Brigade were involved in as many engagements as Jerry, against enemy forces.
Despite creating a perception of a happy carefree fellow, JerryKiely was a man with a prepared agenda, with a knowledge of what he wished to achieve as a soldier and in private life. When the trice was called he made his way to America, to further his livelihood prospects. It was the tragic Civil War that brought him back to Ireland.
He lost his life in his beloved Aherlow glen at Lisvernane, in a shoot out with troops. As brave and able a soldier and as noble a patriot as County Tipperary produced fell in battle fir his nation, in the bloom of his youth.