Ted O’Connor (b. 1954)
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Ted O’Connor (b. 1954)


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Timothy O’Connor, father of Ted O’Connor, worked initially for Lord Rosse in Birr in Co. Offaly before coming to Adare as Land Steward for the Dunraven Estate in 1956. His family came originally from Carriganima near Macroom, Co. Cork and the O’Connor family lived in an Estate house at Adare. Ted details his father’s responsibilities on the Dunraven Estate, and explains that in 1970 he himself began to work on the Estate, having come directly to the farm after completing his schooling at the CBS in Adare. He describes his father’s work in managing the grasslands, and the harvesting of wheat and other crops. All business matters were taken care of through the Estate Office at the Manor. The Estate had a very fine herd of South Devon and Kerry cattle. Pat McNally was the herdsman and the prize-winning cattle were exhibited each year at the RDS Spring Show. Ted well remembers the first occasion on which he went to the Manor when he was given a job as caddie for a shooting-party. At that time the hatchery had just been closed down but the fishponds were still operational. He would often stock the River Maigue with salmon. Louis McCarthy and Eddie Cullen were the gillies and were in charge of the fish stock.The transition from the farm horse to the tractor is described, and Ted has a vivid memory of the dreadful day when the two Irish draughts, Paddy and Diamond, were put down. The pony, Bob, who pulled the milk cart to the village to distribute the milk from the dairy, is also remembered. The bell in the yard at the Manor would ring at 8.00am and at 6.00pm to alert the workmen. They would assemble outside the dispensary in the village at 8am, once the bell had rung. Ted describes the changes which occurred when Thady Wyndham-Quin, the 7th Earl of Dunraven took up residence at the Manor and a new manager was installed. Many of the older staff members were left go at this time. His own responsibilities included taking care of the gardens, and he describes in detail the eight glasshouses, the walled garden, the orchard, the box hedges, the kitchen garden and the varieties of apple trees, the pear trees and the fig trees. Anecdotes relating to the shooting-party organised by the 7th Earl are recounted. Following the sale of the Manor in 1984 Thady Wyndham-Quin, the 7th Earl and his wife, Lady Dunraven, lived at Kilcurly House on the Estate, and the Earl requested that Ted help care for him, due to his disability. Ted describes his travels with the 7th Earl and he recalls in detail this time in his life. In conclusion, Ted recalls the time in the 1970s when human remains were discovered in the Tack Room at the Manor, when work was being undertaken there on the construction of a swimming pool. He also explains that one of the upstairs rooms was reputed to be haunted, and he describes what he himself experienced.

Additional information


Disk, MP3

Audio series:

The Adare Manor and Village Oral History Collection


128 kbps

Download time limit:

48 hours

File size(s):

48.1 MB

Number of files:


Product ID:



Memories of the Estate Farm and gardens

Recorded by:

Maurice O’Keeffe – Irish Life and Lore