Nellie Ryan (née Murphy) (b. 1937)
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Nellie Ryan (née Murphy) (b. 1937)


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Track 1: Spent her childhood in Kilkenny and Wexford and, at the age of 14, undertook a domestic course in Waterford Convent. In 1953, at the age of 15½, got employment with the St Lawrence family at Howth Castle. Recalled her welcome by Miss Margery who instructed her to assist the cook. Track 2: Recalled day-to-day life for domestic staff at the castle; among Nellie’s duties was to prepare the ingredients for the menus. Recalled the time when Christopher Gaisford St Lawrence and his parents arrived to live in the castle, following the death of Christopher’s uncle Tom. The development of the estate at this time. A sad story involving a family member in earlier times, who was abducted and never returned home, and the continued tradition of setting an extra place at table each day, and keeping the castle gates open at all times. Track 3: Recalled that she met her future husband, Jim Ryan, at a local dance in 1960; continued to work at the castle following her marriage; described her many tasks, including laundry, waxing floors, and polishing silver. Track 4: Memories of two elderly aunts of the family, who would sit by the fire each evening, working on embroidery. Recalled the shock and sadness at the sudden death of Tom St Lawrence, the last of his line. Track 5: A tour of the castle, discussing the uses of the various rooms, describing the furnishings and visiting the private chapel.

Additional information



Audio series:

Fingal (north Dublin), second series


96 kbps

Download time limit:

48 hours

File size(s):

5.40 MB, 9.51 MB, 4.30 MB, 3.83 MB, 4.55 MB, 12.93 MB

Number of files:


Product ID:



Author and teacher

Recorded by:

Maurice O’Keeffe – Irish Life and Lore