Grattan de Courcy Wheeler, who sadly passed away in August 2020, was brought up at the Drummin family estate near Carbery, Co. Kildare.
I met Grattan initially in 2009 while researching for the Irish Country House Oral History Collection, and was immediately taken by his gentle manner and warm hospitality. Drummin House was wonderfully atmospheric and, on entering, I felt as though I was taking a step back in time. A fire blazed a welcome in the drawingroom where we sat to compile a recording on Grattan’s story. We were to become firm friends, and his generous hospitality over the succeeding years eased the burden of travel for me as Jane and I continued our research in oral history.
His real fascinating with history was evident as he recalled the lives of his ancestors, who include the builder of Drummin, John Grattan; Grattan’s grandfather, Robert de Courcy Wheeler, a medical officer who served in the Great War and who inherited Drummin, Grattan’s granduncle, Henry de Courcy Wheeler, aide de camp to General Lowe in Dublin during the 1916 Rising and the officer who took Patrick Pearse’s surrender.