Ellen O’Brien, Part 1
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Ellen O’Brien, Part 1


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Ellen O’Brien begins by recalling her ancestors, explaining that her father, William O’Brien, came to Adare from Carrick-on-Suir in Co. Tipperary. Her maternal Ruttle family came from a Palatine background and they settled in the area of Adare in 1709. Ellen’s grandfather, Daniel Ruttle, worked as a steward/manager at Fort Union Stud on the Quin Estate. After his retirement he moved with his family to Adare village, and lived in the premises now occupied by the Quilligan antiques business. Ellen’s uncle, Jack Ruttle, achieved great success in the 1930s as a trainer of three Grand National winners while working at Hazelhatch Stud in Co. Kildare. Ellen’s parents were of different religious persuasions, and she explains that she was reared as Catholic. She discusses the local professions, the businesses, the schools and the churches, the people of the village and the impact of the Wyndham-Quin family on their lives in terms of employment and housing. The workers on the estate included domestic staff, gardeners, gamekeepers, gillies, farm workers, maintenance personnel, agents and accountants. Healthcare in the area is also discussed, and recalled are Jubilee Nurse McLoughlin, midwife Eileen Murphy and Nurse Sarah Horden, all of whom would travel by bicycle while on duty. The Christian Brothers who were introduced to the village by the Dunravens in 1854 and the Monastery School which was located in the old Fever Hospital which, along with a dispensary, was built by the Earl of Dunraven and Mount-Earl in the 1830s, are other topics discussed.
The flying boat station at Foynes, established in 1935, and its great effect on the village of Adare is described. Hackney driver Tom Harrington is recalled. The enterprising venture by Windham Thomas Wyndham-Quin, 4th Earl of Dunraven in establishing the Adare Cigarette Company on the estate is remembered. The company employed approximately 70 people before it was destroyed by fire in 1917.

Additional information


Disk, MP3

Audio series:

The Adare Manor and Village Oral History Collection


128 kbps

Download time limit:

48 hours

File size(s):

42.5 MB

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Product ID:



Long service with the Dunraven Estate

Recorded by:

Maurice O’Keeffe – Irish Life and Lore