Born in Limerick in 1891, the only son among 10 children, Daly’s family had a history of republican activity. Educated by the Christian Brothers at Roxboro Road, after a brief stint as an apprentice baker in Glasgow, he worked as a clerk at Spaight’s timber yard in Limerick. Daly later moved to Dublin where he got a job with a wholesale chemists.
He joined the Irish Volunteers on their foundation in November 1913, soon attaining the rank of captain, becoming an expert on tactics and strategy.During the Rising his command occupied a strategic position on the Liﬀey, as it controlled the main route leading from various military barracks to the west of the city into the city centre. The battalion was involved in some of the most intense fighting of the week. Daly’s garrison held out until Pearse’s surrender order reached him on Saturday.
He faced the firing squad at Kilmainham on May 4, 1916. He was a popular officer, with a priest writing: “I remember well seeing Commandant Daly coming down from the prison cell. He was calm and brave as when he was with his men in Church Street Area.” He was unmarried.