Fleury, Eleonora Lilian (1867–1960), medical doctor, was born in Manchester, England, the eldest daughter of Charles Fleury, a Waterford surgeon of Huguenot stock. Losing her mother at an early age, she appears to have been home-educated before registering as a medical student at the London School of Medicine for Women. This medical school had been founded by, amongst others, the pioneering female doctors Elizabeth Garrett Anderson and Elizabeth Blackwell, and most clinical instruction was given at the Royal Free Hospital. Despite having trained in London, Fleury took her final MB examination under the Royal University in Dublin and became its first female medical graduate in 1890. She was first in the order of merit and received an 'exhibition' of £40. On qualification she returned to London briefly (working at a fever hospital in Homerton) before settling in Dublin as a clinical assistant under Dr Conolly Norman (qv), then resident medical superintendent at the Richmond Lunatic Asylum, Dublin (later Grangegorman Mental Hospital and, later again St Brendan's Hospital). At that time the Richmond Asylum was the largest psychiatric hospital in Ireland.
Fleury received her MD degree, again from the Royal, in 1893. Conolly Norman appears to have had a high regard for Fleury such that in 1893, when he was president-elect of the Medico-Psychological Association (the forerunner of the United Kingdom-based Royal College of Psychiatrists), he proposed her for full membership. At that time there were no female members, but Norman insisted that the female graduates that he had met were 'decidedly superior to the average of the male graduates' (Journal of Mental Science (1893), 599). The attempt to have Fleury enrolled as a member failed in 1893, but in 1894 she was accepted by a three-quarters majority of the council of the MPA, thus becoming the first female 'psychiatrist' in Britain and Ireland and amongst the first worldwide.
She continued at the Richmond and, in the early 1900s, was involved in the creation of a satellite asylum at Portrane, Co. Dublin (later St Ita's Hospital). This auxiliary asylum was built to ease overcrowding at the main Richmond Asylum. Following the reshuffle of medical staff that occurred on Conolly Norman's death in 1908, Fleury was appointed assistant medical officer on the female 'side' at Portrane, but her deputy was later (1912) promoted over her head, as the committee of the Richmond considered it inadvisable to place a lady doctor in charge of Portrane. It was only after Fleury's retirement that a female, Dr Mary Anne White, was appointed as the senior medic in Portrane.
Although Fleury was not evidently a main organiser of suffragist and separatist movements in Dublin in the first decade of the twentieth century, her name appears on meeting attendance lists. Later, following the arrest of Dr Kathleen Lynn (qv) by the authorities in 1916, Fleury wrote to John Redmond (qv) seeking his intervention in releasing Lynn from detention for 'complicity in the recent lamentable disturbances' (letter of 9 May 1916, Redmond papers, NLI). In 1923 Fleury was arrested by Irish Free State forces, having been involved in an organised assistance and escape programme for anti-treaty republicans. This involved hiding escapees in the asylum at Portrane. She was held at a temporary female prison at the North Dublin Union (a building contiguous with the asylum at Richmond) and later transferred to Kilmainham gaol. While in prison she served as medical officer to the other female detainees using sparse resources. On her release she returned to her duties in Portrane, retiring in 1925.
Dr Fleury spent her retirement in Manor Kilbride, north Co. Wicklow, and Rathmines, Dublin; she never married. She died aged 93 in Dublin in early October 1960, and is buried in Mount Jerome cemetery.