Carty, Francis (1899–1972), revolutionary, journalist, and author, was born 29 March 1899 in Wexford town, eldest child of Francis Carty, shopkeeper, and Margaret Carty (née Storey). Educated at CBS, Wexford, he contributed stories to Ireland's Own in his teens. From 1915 he worked in his father's shop in Main St., Wexford. His father was a staunch Redmondite and condemned the Easter rising as reckless and foolish. Francis, however, gradually became more sympathetic to the rebels, joined Sinn Féin and publicly assisted the party in the 1918 general election; he also became registrar of the republican arbitration courts in Wexford. He served with the IRA during the war of independence, becoming adjutant of the 4th battalion, South Wexford brigade (May–December 1920) and battalion OC (January–July 1921). He also joined the IRB in 1921 and was appointed centre for the Wexford town area. For most of the conflict the 4th battalion had no rifles, just a few revolvers and shotguns, and their military effectiveness was limited. As Carty readily admitted, most of their operations proved abortive, and they largely confined themselves to digging up roads and destroying bridges. In June 1921 they did, however, burn down Wexford courthouse, only fifty yards from the Carty home. Identified with the civil rather than the military side of the republican movement, Carty was not suspected of IRA involvement and managed to avoid arrest. After the truce (11 July 1921), he became adjutant of the South Wexford brigade. He was also a republican propagandist, and published a lecture on England's difficulty today and Ireland's opportunity (1922).
An admirer of Éamon de Valera (qv), Carty was uneasy about the Anglo–Irish treaty but was anxious to preserve the unity of the Wexford Brigade and only came out against it after republicans seized the Four Courts on 14 April 1922. He was appointed divisional director of training in the anti-treatyite 3rd Eastern Division, and was with the force of 300 men (which included Seán Lemass (qv), Thomas Derrig (qv), and Ernie O'Malley (qv)) that attacked and seized Enniscorthy castle in early July 1922. After blowing up a bridge at Ferns on 8 July to prevent the approach of a large National Army column, Carty and a small group of men were attacked and forced to surrender at Ferns post office. He was imprisoned in Portlaoise, and on 29 August 1922 led an attempt to burn the prison in protest at being denied prisoner-of-war status. Moved to the Curragh after ten months, he spent a month on hunger strike in 1923 and was released in March 1924.
He joined Fianna Fáil in 1926 and worked as a sub-editor on the Irish Press (1932–44). He wrote several novels, including The Irish Volunteer (1932) and Legion of the rearguard (1934), and some works of Irish hagiography: Two and fifty Irish saints (1941) and Irish saints in ten countries (1942). As well as working as editorial director of the Irish Digest, he contributed to the Irish Monthly (1934) and the Bookman (1946). In 1932 he was awarded the Tailteann literary medal.
He became manager and editorial director of C. J. Fallon's Parkside Publications (1944–57), publishing schoolbooks for the Irish and African markets and travelling extensively in West Africa (1950–53). A mild-mannered and self-effacing man, he was the surprise choice as editor of the Irish Press in 1957; because of his short stature he was known at Burgh Quay as the ‘Little Man’. He became editor of the Sunday Press in 1962 and continued the successful editorial formula that made it Ireland's best-selling newspaper. In 1967 he wrote a leading article agreeing with the recommendation of Lemass's committee on the constitution that de Valera's 1937 constitution needed to be amended. This offended the paper's managing director, Vivion de Valera (qv), to such an extent that he scrawled an obscenity across a clipping of the article and sent it to Carty. Carty resigned the following year, but continued to contribute book reviews to the Sunday Press. He died 8 April 1972 in Dublin; Éamon de Valera was among those present at his deathbed.
He married (1934) Alice Quinn; they had three children, Francis Xavier and Ciaran, who became journalists, and Jane, a music producer with RTÉ. His brother, James Carty (qv), was a noted historian and bibliographer.