Country girl Catherine driven by her determination to succeed
Catherine Nevin, nee Scully, spent her formative years in the small, close-knit community of Nurney, Co Kildare. Her parents were regarded as being excellent neighbours, always willing to help those less fortunate than themselves.
Patrick, her father, had a small farm, which provided life's essentials for his wife Mary and their three children, Catherine, Betty and Vincent. Vincent, unfortunately, was stricken with polio at an early age, leaving him with a permanent limp. Mary supplemented the family's meagre income by working as a seamstress.
Their home has been unfairly described as a galvanised hovel. On the contrary, it was a very nice, well-kept house, small in size -- as most Irish houses were when the Scully children were growing up. The children were happy and well cared for. All three children were bright, but particularly Catherine. She attended the local primary school in Nurney, and the Presentation College in Kildare town. She applied herself diligently to her studies, realising from an early age that a good education was essential for her future prospects.