Miss Kate Connolly was born on Meeting Street in Tipperary, Co Tipperary, Ireland on 25 August 1870.
She was the daughter of John Connolly (b. circa 1840), a cutler, and Catherine Madden (b. circa 1846), a shopkeeper, who had married around 1864.
One of six children (two of whom were lost in infancy), Kate's siblings were: Mary (b. 9 April 1864), Margaret (b. 23 December 1865), John (b. 24 March 1868), Edward Joseph (b. 18 October 1873) and Richard (b. 3 February 1881).
Her father died at their home at Bank Place, Co Tipperary on 14 September 1892 1 and her mother never remarried.
Kate appears on the 1901 census, listed erroneously as a 24-year-old and residing with her widowed mother, still a shopkeeper, at 4 Main Street, Tipperary town. Listed on the 1911 census at 33 Main Street, Tipperary, Katie was described as a housekeeper whilst her mother was again described as a shopkeeper.
Kate Connolly boarded the Titanic at Queenstown as a third class passenger (ticket number 370373, £7, 15s), her passage having been paid for by a cousin in New York, and whilst aboard she roomed with two other Tipperary girls, Catherine McCarthy and Catherine Peters. She was travelling to Dobbs Ferry, New York, hoping to gain employment to help her impoverished and ageing family in Ireland. Her elder sister Maggie, a music teacher, was stricken with tuberculosis.
On the night of the sinking, Katie McCarthy, the only surviving member of their group, recalled that Tipperary man Roger Tobin called by their cabin and told them to get up and dressed and to bring lifebelts but assured them there was no danger. McCarthy said that only she sensed any urgency and whilst she implored the other two girls to follow her, she ended up leaving alone and never saw the other two Kates again.
Kate Connolly was lost in the sinking. Her body, if recovered, was never identified. The presence of two Irish women named Kate Connolly travelling in third class initially caused confusion; Kate Connolly, from Co Cavan, was saved but an initial mix-up reported the Tipperary Kate to be among the rescued.
Kate's estate, worth £20, was administered to her mother Catherine on 16 December 1912.
Kate's family received £40 from a Relief Committee in England. The American Red Cross offered a sum equivalent to the price of Katie's ticket to her cousin living in America who paid it, who agreed that this money also should be sent to her relatives in Ireland.
Her mother Catherine continued to live at Bank Place, Tipperary but her health declined a short while after. She died on 5 February 1927.
Her weakly sister Margaret rallied for years to come and continued to work as a music teacher; she died in Bank Place on 9 August 1934.