Joan Hunt (b. 1923) and the late Elsie Hunt (b. 1924)
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Joan Hunt (b. 1923) and the late Elsie Hunt (b. 1924)


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The Hunt sisters were recorded in 2011, and sadly Elsie Hunt has since passed away. The recording was compiled for the Great Houses of Ireland – Second Collection, No. 41 ( for the Irish Life and Lore archive, and relevant sections are now included in the Adare Manor and Village Oral History Collection. From 1978 onwards, Joan Hunt and the late Elsie Hunt lived in a stone-built house erected in 1838 on the Rathkeale Road in Adare. An Adare Manor Estate house, it was previously occupied by Maurice Moloney who was gamekeeper for the Manor. Prior to relocating, the sisters had lived at Maunsell House in Finnitterstown, three miles outside Adare, in the ancestral home of the Maunsell family, their grandmother’s people. Their father Herbert (Bertie) inherited the property and Elsie took over the farm there in 1952. The sisters attended the Parents National Union School in Abbeyleix, but Elsie contracted tuberculosis during her teenage years. She recovered from this setback and she described her busy adult life running the 180-acre mixed farm at Finnitterstown. She always found time to fish, hunt and shoot, and explained with a smile that she would hunt “four days a week” in the 1950s. She lived through the best of it, she said. Lord Daresbury was Master of Hounds at that time. She also had the permission of Windham Wyndham-Quin, 5th Earl of Dunraven, to fish the River Maigue. She mentions the snipe in the bogs and explains that she always joined the hunting parties at Adare Manor. The popularity of the game of tennis in the area is also recalled. Both sisters were tennis players in their day. Elsie recalled the purchase, with her father, of shorthorn livestock at cattle fairs and off the land in Co. Clare, and their later transportation on the West Clare Railway and onwards from Limerick to Adare railway station. They also had winterage on the Burren during the winter months. The Church of Ireland community in Adare was recalled, as was the carving up of some of the large estates in Co. Limerick in the 1940s and 1950s by the Land Commission. To conclude, the sisters describe summer holidays spent in their holiday home in Kilkee, Co. Clare in the 1930s, to where they would travel via the West Clare Railway with their parents and the domestic staff from Maunsell House.

Additional information


Disk, MP3

Audio series:

The Adare Manor and Village Oral History Collection


128 kbps

Download time limit:

48 hours

File size(s):

68.6 MB

Number of files:


Product ID:



Sporting days around Adare in earlier times

Recorded by:

Maurice O’Keeffe – Irish Life and Lore