Nancy Moloney (b. 1923)
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Nancy Moloney (b. 1923)


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Maurice Moloney worked as a gamekeeper for the Dunravens in Adare in earlier days. He lived with his family, which included his daughter Nancy, at the end of the village in a building which now houses the village Post Office. The family later moved to the stone built cottage on the Rathkeale Road, later occupied by the Hunt sisters, Elsie and Joan. Nancy explains how her parents, Maurice Moloney and Sarah Doyle, first met. Sarah came from Co. Wicklow and her sister Margaret had married George Farrell who worked as a forester for the Earl of Dunraven. While visiting her sister, Sarah was introduced to Maurice and the couple later married. Maurice Moloney’s duties as gamekeeper are described, as is his green uniform and peaked cap made by local tailor, George Nolan. He would rear the pheasants by taking hens from local farmers for use in the hatching of the eggs. He was involved in the maintenance of the wooded area and in cutting timber for the Manor. Other gamekeepers included headman Mick Quaid, his son Tim, Bill Rose and Louis McCarthy. Nancy recalls the “charabanc” which serviced Rathkeale, Adare, Patrickswell and Limerick. Nancy attended school in Adare, and at the age of fifteen, she emigrated to England where she worked as a housemaid in Kent and in Devonshire from 1948 to 1955. She then returned to Adare to care for her parents and to work in Doherty’s Garage in the village over the following 33 years. The wonderful dances in the village hall are recalled, along with the travelling companies who provided great theatrical entertainment. Adare had its own brass and reed band and its membership was made up of Blueshirts, she says. Nancy’s father was the treasurer of the Blueshirts, but the band suffered an abrupt demise because of trouble caused by the local IRA. (The Army Comrades Association was set up in 1932 to provide security at political meetings which led to serious clashes with the Irish Republican Army. Members of the ACA wore blue shirts and so were commonly known as ‘Blueshirts’). Excursions to Foynes were a real treat and Nancy remembers the day she was taken out into the harbour to see the flying-boats, and her excitement at being in such close proximity to the British Airways flying-boat. One of her earliest memories is of the big flood in Adare over eighty years ago, and the great devastation which resulted. The Christmas parties at the Manor for the children of the employees, and meeting Windham Wyndham-Quin, the 5th Earl and his wife, Lady Eva, are treasured memories for Nancy. In bygone days, sisters Nell Fitzgibbon and Mrs McMahon had a reputation far and wide as wonderful dressmakers. Nell lived and worked next door to Nancy in The Avenue in Adare. The Black Abbey Creamery and the Co-Op were a hive of activity in the village, and Nancy explains that Jim Doyle and her uncle, Stephen Moloney, took care of the horses there. The Jubilee Nurses who worked in the village who were introduced there by Nancy, Countess of Dunraven, are recalled. The first incumbent in the post was Gráinne Ford, and her father saved the Manor from destruction by fire by the IRA in the 1920s by talking to those who were planning to destroy it. He was a man to be reckoned with, Nancy explains.

Additional information



Audio series:

The Adare Manor and Village Oral History Collection


128 kbps

Download time limit:

48 hours

File size(s):

45.9 MB

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A gamekeeper at the Manor is recalled

Recorded by:

Maurice O'Keeffe – Irish Life and Lore