Oswald (Obbie) Waller (b. 1928)
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Oswald (Obbie) Waller (b. 1928)


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Obbie Waller’s parents, Bertie Waller and Marjorie Harrison, lived with their family at Beechmount House in Rathkeale, Co. Limerick, just a short distance from the Lillingston family at Mount Coote Stud in Kilmallock where this recording was compiled. Obbie and the late Alan Lillingston were great friends, and Obbie would often visit Mount Coote from his home in London. Obbie explains that he worked as an interior decorator in London for much of his life. His father, Bertie Waller, was a North Tipperary man and his mother Marjorie was a member of the Harrison family who own T. & J. Harrison shipping line in Liverpool. Bertie Waller joined the Royal Flying Corps in World War I and served in the RAF during World War II. Obbie has memories of his early life when his family lived initially on the shores of Lough Derg in North Tipperary, moving to Croom House where they lived for three years before finally relocating to Beechmount House in Rathkeale. He discusses his early education and his first prep school at Castle Park in Co. Dublin, followed by his studies at Charterhouse School in Surrey. His memories of the Emergency period (1939-1945), when his mother ran the farm while his father was on active service, are described. He spent a lot of time at Adare Manor during his childhood and teenage years, and memories of these years are also recalled, which include details of fine entertainment at the many parties held there. He speaks about his first kiss with Fred Astaire’s sister Adele. The characters of the sisters Ursula, Pamela and Mollie Wyndham-Quin are also recalled and described. Nora Lyons was Obbie Waller’s nanny and she is remembered as being a great person. She married James Lyons who worked for the Dunraven Estate. Obbie recalls the family holiday home in Sneem in Co. Kerry where he spent many wonderful summers with the Dunraven family who were holidaying at their summerhouse in nearby Derrynane. These days hold very happy memories for him, and he has some fascinating stories to tell, including the occasion when, shortly after they married, Mollie (formerly Wyndham-Quin) and Lord Robert Cecil, future Marquess of Salisbury, visited Derrynane and were hounded by the press. Obbie now turns his attention to the years of World War II and his family’s involvement in that conflict. He explains that his brother suffered from depression as a result of his experiences. His father was assigned to Foynes in 1943 to run British Airways, and Obbie explains that this was a most interesting time, which he describes in detail. The occasion when Winston Churchill travelled by flying-boat from Southampton to Foynes on his way to Lisbon is recalled, as is his father’s entertaining of visitors who travelled to Foynes on the flying-boats. Obbie also recalls a trip he made with Alan Lillingston from Paris to Shannon on a Pan Am flight. He himself joined the National Service in 1947 and served in Tripoli for two years. In the 1950s his parents moved to the Old Rectory in Rathkeale. Obbie explains that his mother was visually impaired, though this did not detract from her enjoyment of fox-hunting with Lord and Lady Adare. Also mentioned is the wonderful assistance afforded to his mother by Robert Leech, butler to the Earl. Obbie’s father would often fish on the River Maigue with Lady Olein Wyndham-Quin, daughter of the 5th Earl. Obbie set up his business in London in 1957, and he remembers the great assistance given to him in the early days by Lady Nancy, wife of Richard Wyndham-Quin, 6th Earl of Dunraven, as she made introductions to potential clients. He says that the most interesting house he worked on was Mount Juliet in Kilkenny, then owned by the McCalmont family.

Additional information


Disk, MP3

Audio series:

The Adare Manor and Village Oral History Collection


128 kbps

Download time limit:

48 hours

File size(s):

58.7 MB

Number of files:


Product ID:



Memories of Adare Manor and the Waller family

Recorded by:

Maurice O’Keeffe – Irish Life and Lore