Trinity Archive

Elizabeth Hickey’s archive is safe and dry in storage at Trinity College Dublin and there is a list of it’s items in Dear Grandchildren.

If anyone is interested in accessing the archive for research or other purposes, you can contact Laura, Head of Research Collections (Library), (or her successor) at Trinity College Dublin.

However there is an archive cost of ?15k to access the data.

Best wishes,
Eoin

Elizabeth Hickey and Sir Shane Leslie

Notes on TELLING TALES a Biography of Anita Leslie by Marian Keys sent to relation of Nora Hickey – April 2020

Anita Leslie?s biography is gone in the post to you Friday evening, you should have it Monday or Tuesday.

She was a very interesting woman from a strange cross-section of life; Irish big house, cousin of Churchill and some of the family friendly with Hitler.
Anita obviously wrote quite a bit and travelled extensively. The Leslie family home was in Castle Leslie, Glaslough, County Monaghan, right on the border with Northern Ireland Ireland. Her niece now runs the big house as an exclusive hotel. Paul McCartney, the Beetle had his last wedding there. They have a Royal Suite called after Marguerite, Queen of Sweden (a cousin of yours!)
Nora and I called in there recently on our way to Donegal: it is now very well kept, I think they received EU. money for developing industry in Border Regions.
The family were often in the news. Samantha Leslie, the woman who runs the Castle now Is a niece of Anita. Her sister Camielle [or the two of them] were friendly with Fr. Cleary?s son Ross. (maybe also a cousin of yours!).
Anita’s father was Sir Shane Leslie. Winston Churchill?s mother and Shane’s mother were two of the Jerome sisters, daughters of a famous, wealthy New York stockbroker family.
They were always a bit different. I see on Google that Anita?s brother Desmond, who lived in Glasslock, retired and lived in Antibes in the South of France. Nora and I remember his son, coming down to the pub in Juan Les Pins on a bicycle to buy fish and chips next door and have a pint in the pub.
My mother taught in Derry (Londonderry Girls High School) in the 1960s and with another teacher would drive up and down every second weekend. She liked to do something to break the journey each trip so she wrote to Sir Shane Leslie in Glaslough asking to do an interview with hIm. He had been through the first world war and Churchill used to stay with him in his rooms in Trinity College, Dublin during his holidays. He wrote back saying that he did not give interviews to the press. She wrote back, presumably,  using her Skryne Castle address, saying that she was not press but would like the interview for local history and for students.
He gave her the interview and she called one Friday afternoon with her old fashion tape-recorder and they had tea and got on well.
She later gave the large old-fashioned tape reel to the County Monaghan Library (without keeping a copy)

So that?s the Leslies, I hope you enjoy it.

Looking forward to afternoon tea with you at the Negresco Hotel in Nice later in the year.

Best wishes,
Eoin

Noah Hickey’s Gravestone

The Irish Times reported on 18th February?2020 building plans for an eight story hotel at the corner of Jervis Street and Abbey Street, Dublin including a proposal for the ‘temporary removal of 125 gravestones from Wolfe Tone Park during the construction phase’.

One of these gravestones is from the grave of our ancestor Noah Hickey (1689-1766), and father of Thomas?Hickey (1741-1824) albeit the stones are barely legible.

Eoin?Hickey?

Skryne and the Early Normans and other Books by Elizabeth Hickey

Skryne and tne Early Normans and other Books by Elizabeth Hickey

A Talk by Eoin Hickey to Skryne Tuesday Club, January 2020

(These notes were sent by Eoin Hickey to person in UK)

The talk went very well and there was a good turnout.
I don?t have a clear copy but I can outline here for you roughly what I went through.
I brought along several books and pictures and photographs including of my mother and Skryne Castle. I spoke about growing up in Skryne Castle and how my mother had lived there for 50 years, probably longer than any Norman family!

I went through briefly my ? Growing up in Skryne? which won the competition and I referred to yourself and how you encouraged me to enter. I also mentioned other people who took part in that competition including Netta, Margaret Smith/Hayes, and young Louis Murray who won the junior section.

I showed some photographs of Skryne Castle and referred to the Norman ghost there.

I had and illustrated book on the Bayeux Tapestry which I went through and suggested perhaps the Tuesday Club might like to do a Skryne Tapestry and how they had made one in New Ross. I suggested that you, Mary Rose, might help them!  If a tapestry was too complicated then perhaps they might do a film!

I showed a copy of the McAleese picture in the National Gallery of the wedding of Aoife and Strongbow and went through the De Fepoy?s in Skryne and Hugh DeLacy in Meath and I showed maps from my mother?s book of both Skryne and Meath in the 12th century.

I referred, from my mother?s book, to the Seven Manors outside of Skryne; Rsthfeigh,  Timoole, Cushistown, Macetown, Trevitt, Ardmulchan and Tara. Also I spoke about the candlemakers of Candle Hill which my mother wrote about.

I introduced and a new book; Mythical Ireland by Anthony Murphy which refers to my mother?s interest in Rosnaree and fording the Boyne here.
This book also refers to Sir William Wilde?s book on the Boyne and Blackwater, of which I have a copy, published in 1850 and I showed them a sketch of the font which Wilde found at Kilcarn ruined church and had placed in Johnstown Church. I suggested that Mary Wilkinson (O?Brien-Lynch) was probably baptised in this front.

I then referred to another new book given to me recently called the Croppy Boy which refers to the United Irishmen particularly in Meath and Louth and gives a detailed account of the gathering  at Tara in 1798 where hundreds of the Croppies were slaughtered and how 300 of them are buried in the Mound of the Hostages.

I then went on to show my mother?s other books Including;
 I Send my Love Along the Boyne and it?s Nano Reid illustrations.

I went through The Green Cockatrice and how some of Shakespeare?s works were possibly written by an Irish noble man?s son and her correspondence with Enoch Powell (which I have).
I referred to some of the pictures of Thomas Cusick?s Memorial stones at Trevet and how these are listed on Wikipedia. I spoke about the stone from  Trevet which was at Skryne Church for many years and now is in Tara church. Most people seem to be familiar with this stone.

I referred to Kileen Castle and The Cusack family and your interest and writings here and how I had worked at Killeen as a youngster.

I spoke about my mother?s books on Saint Finnian and Clonard and the connection between Odder at Tara and Clonard and how Clonard was her final book, printed just before she died.
Finally I referred to the tape recordings that my mother made of various people including Casey Oaks, The Bundy Callaghan from the five roads and Jock Wilkinson. These were made in the 1960s and I have since forward on copies of them to several people who asked for them.

And I finished up explaining that time did not allow me to fully explain our experiences with the Norman Ghost in Skryne Castle and that I would have to leave this to another time.

It all seemed to go down very well, there was a good crowd of about 50 people and they appeared to enjoy it. Certainly I did, it was a good experience.

Best wishes,
Eoin

Skryne & The Normans Talk

Below is a copy of a letter from Eoin summarising the talk he gave to the Skryne Tuesday Club on 21st January 2020.

Hi, The talk went very well and there was a good turnout.
I don?t have a clear copy but I can outline here for you roughly what I went through.

I brought along several books and pictures and photographs including of my mother and Skryne Castle. I spoke about growing up in Skryne Castle and how my mother had lived there for 50 years, probably longer than any Norman family!

I went through briefly my ? Growing up in Skryne? which won the competition and I referred to yourself and how you encouraged me to enter. I also mentioned other people who took part in that competition including Netta, Margaret Smith/Hayes, and young Louis Murray who won the junior section.

I showed some photographs of Skryne Castle and referred to the Norman ghost there.

I had and illustrated book on the Bayeux Tapestry which I went through and suggested perhaps the Tuesday Club might like to do a Skryne Tapestry and how they had made one in New Ross. I suggested that you, Mary Rose, might help them!  If a tapestry was too complicated then perhaps they might do a film!

I showed a copy of the McAleese picture in the National Gallery of the wedding of Aoife and Strongbow and went through the De Fepoy?s in Skryne and Hugh DeLacy in Meath and I showed maps from my mother?s book of both Skryne and Meath in the 12th century.

I referred, from my mother?s book, to the Seven Manors outside of Skryne; Rsthfeigh,  Timoole, Cushistown, Macetown, Trevitt, Ardmulchan and Tara. Also I spoke about the candlemakers of Candle Hill which my mother wrote about.
I introduced and a new book; Mythical Ireland by Anthony Murphy which refers to my mother?s interest in Rosnaree and fording the Boyne here.
This book also refers to Sir William Wilde?s book on the Boyne and Blackwater, of which I have a copy, published in 1850 and I showed them a sketch of the font which Wilde found at Kilcarn ruined church and had placed in Johnstown Church. I suggested that Mary Wilkinson (O?Brien-Lynch) was probably baptised in this front.

I then referred to another new book given to me recently called the Croppy Boy which refers to the United Irishmen particularly in Meath and Louth and gives a detailed account of the gathering  at Tara in 1798 where hundreds of the Croppies were slaughtered and how 300 of them are buried in the Mound of the Hostages.
I then went on to show my mother?s other books Including;
 I Send my Love Along the Boyne and it?s Nano Reid illustrations.

I went through The Green Cockatrice and how some of Shakespeare?s works were possibly written by an Irish noble man?s son and her correspondence with Enoch Powell (which I have).
I referred to some of the pictures of Thomas Cusick?s Memorial stones at Trevet and how these are listed on Wikipedia. I spoke about the stone from  Trevet which was at Skryne Church for many years and now is in Tara church. Most people seem to be familiar with this stone.
I referred to Kileen Castle and The Cusack family and your interest and writings here and how I had worked at Killeen as a youngster.
I spoke about my mother?s books on Saint Finnian and Clonard and the connection between Odder at Tara and Clonard and how Clonard was her final book, printed just before she died.
Finally I referred to the tape recordings that my mother made of various people including Casey Oaks, The Bundy Callaghan from the five roads and Jock Wilkinson. These were made in the 1960s and I have since forward on copies of them to several people who asked for them.

And I finished up explaining that time did not allow me to fully explain our experiences with the Norman Ghost in Skryne Castle and that I would have to leave this to another time.

It all seemed to go down very well, there was a good crowd of about 50 people and they appeared to enjoy it. Certainly I did, it was a good experience.

Best wishes,
Eoin  

Limited 2019 edition of The Legend of Tara by Elizabeth Hickey.

The following is the introduction to the limited edition by Eoin, Netta and Geraldine which was lunched at a gathering by the family on the Hill of Tara in May 2019 and is now on sale on the Hill of Tara.

Copies may also be bought through this website, details on application, via the contact page for ?11 including postage.

==

This limited, 2019, edition of The Legend of Tara, written by Elizabeth Hickey commemorates twenty years since her death in 1999. In the early 1950s our mother/mother-in-law took part in the excavations at Tara with Prof. Sean P. O?Riordain, then Professor of Celtic Archaeology at UCD. She was also part of the excavation team at Lough Gur in County Limerick and was very much involved with The Pageant of Tara which took place at Easter 1953.

Elizabeth Hickey campaigned to secure the distinguished stained glass window in St Patrick?s Church on Tara by the artist Evie Hone, titled The Descent of the Holy Spirit, it was commissioned in 1933. When the church was deconsecrated in 1991 and taken over by the O.P.W., the window was boarded up ? but not at all safe. Mrs Hickey and others campaigned to have it secured and eventually the O.P.W. came and removed it temporarily for safe keeping. Now secure and also in the church at Tara, after resting awhile at Skryne Church, is the Cusack Stone which Elizabeth Hickey unearthed while researching at Trevet near Dunshaughlin.

One of her more publicized campaigns, for it was covered by RTE Television, was over the replacement of the old statue of Saint Patrick on Tara. The following tribute by Fr. Gerard Rice, a fellow member of the Meath Archaeological and Historical Society, was paid to his good friend on the occasion of erecting a stone plaque in memory of Elizabeth Hickey at the entrance to the Churchyard and Steeple on the Hill of Skryne.

Mrs Elizabeth hickey died at her home in Skryne Castle in January 1999. She was one of the four formidable women who, with Fr Callary, Parish Priest of Ballinabrack , in 1955 founded our society, began the publication of the yearly journal and in good times and bad sustained, and gave tone and style to the society and its enterprises, in its formative years.

They were an Ecumenical quartet, Mrs Conway and Mrs McGurl, being Catholic, and Dr. Beryl Moore and Mrs Hickey members if the Church of Ireland. The Society was in consequence open and inviting to all the citizens of what had been the Kingdom of Meath, Riocht na Midhe, the name by which the journal was called, which had stretched in pre- Norman days from the Shannon to the sea. Mrs. Hickey was by far the most junior of the quartet, and in one office or another, most usually as treasurer, she had substantial and some would say overwhelming, input into its deliberations and policies as she was very definite in her views and robust in expressing them, one would need to have thought deeply about the matter in controversy and be equally robust in expressing one’s ideas if there was any chance of their being adopted. She welcomed discussion and had definite views on most matters, and she was sensitive to the feelings and sentiments of others.
But, of course, it is as an historian that she chiefly contributed to our society and to our community, and not in written words alone. I remember hearing that when the Board of Works was involved in a controversy over replacement of the old statue of St. Patrick at Tara, which when removed, seems to have disintegrated.

The Board sent someone with that certainty that graces the young ternporarily, when they gain a high honours degree. In one the young lady’s throw-away phrases she mentions St Patrick ?if he ever existed?.

An indignant Mrs. Hickey in righteous rage, put a definite dint in the young lady’s certainties, and in time seemed to have scuppered the Board’s plans for a St. Patrick far removed from the visual ideas traditional about him.

Her contributions to local history were many and varied. She wrote with clarity and styIe so that what she published about Meath and its history was instantly available to the ordinary person. Not for her the academic infighting of universities, where weighty tomes are answers to other weighty tomes, and revisions of received concepts are necessary to further academic careers. For her, local history had to do with conveying a truthful vision of the past, through which locals could recognise, sharing as they did the landscape with those treated of, something of the past inhabitants of the area in themselves.

Other publications by Elizabeth Hickey include Skryne and the Early Normans (1994), The Green Cockatrice, written under a pen name, Basil Iske, where giving a very disciplined story of William Nugent of sixteenth-century Meath, she mischievously suggested that he could be thought of as a possible author of some of Shakespeare?s works.

She wrote two books on Clonard ? one a ninth-century life of St. Finian with topographical notes, published in 1996: the other, the story of Clonard from its golden age to the thirteenth century, was published after her death.

She had many articles in Riocht na Midhe, the Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, Seanchas Ard Mhacha and other local journals.

Eoin, Netta and Geraldine, 2019

 

 

Joe & Caroline Hillaby

You have no idea how thrilled we were to come across your website. Wanting to make contact with the family, we have tried several times googling Robin, the only name we could remember, from when he organised accommodation for us at UCD many years ago. We think we also met Peter and Netta.

We loved Elizabeth and talk of her often, having many wonderful memories of her, starting with when she arranged for Joe to give a lecture at Maynooth even before meeting or asking him. She was also responsible for his writing an article on Walter de Lacy for R?ocht na M?dhe.

Other memories include
– her ?football team? of cairn terriers and her love of hollyhocks

– a day out with Poppy ?to put the manners on her? ? after a picnic at Carlingford, Poppy duly disappeared down a rabbit hole at Granard motte. As the semi-final against France meant we were the only people abroad, Elizabeth was resigned to putting an advert in the paper for her, but happily Poppy re-appeared once we started leaving. Caroline has indelible memories of Elizabeth?s and Joe?s bottoms sticking up in the air, their heads in the hole, shouting for Poppy

– meeting a Skryne resident at Heywood Gardens. We assumed ?you must know Elizabeth? – this in due course led to ?you mean Mrs Hickey!?

– her visit to us in Herefordshire, to see Longtown castle – first stop was to buy wellington boots

– her determination to maintain the castle herself, climbing up to fix the chimney and rolling huge stones to the driveway for repairs

– our last visit to her, shortly before she died, when she was quite frail but still berating her publisher on the phone when we arrived

– many more.

We are very sad to read ?in memory of Robin and Peter?. What happened to them? Small wonder we couldn?t find Robin.

We notice it will be Elizabeth?s centenary this year. Are you planning anything for 27 August or thereabouts? We always remember her birthday, though do not remember why we know it!

In loving memory of a very special person, and with very best wishes to her family
Joe & Caroline Hillaby

Pat Comber

Monday, January 25, 2015

Dear Eoin and Nora:

It was lovely to hear from you and many thanks indeed for the information you enclosed. Your spot, or page in Google (sorry but I don?t know the correct name for it) is very interesting indeed, especially for us ancestor hunters, and the name you chose for it I thought very apt. Well, I?ll tell you a little bit about us here in Argentina and how I understand we are connected: My father was Charles Thomas Thornton Comber and my mother, Elizabeth Marian Haining Stott. My father?s parents were: Charles Proby Cautley Comber and Juana Mar?a Buchanan. He and three brothers and a cousin emigrated to Argentina towards the end of the 19th century. My father was born in Buenos aires, but he was sent to school in England, to St. Edmund?s at Ware.

My grandfather (on my father?s side) and his other brothers and a sister were the children of Charles Thomas Comber Vicar of Abbots Bickingham N.Devon and of Rohesia Mary Giffard (my great- grandparents). Charles Thomas comber was one of the sons (there seem to have been many of them, also according to Google) of Henry George Wandesford Comber, Rector of Oswaldkirk and of Hester Cautley, and brother of Harriet Comber, who married Joseph Woodhead. Henry Gorge Wandesford Comber was my great great grandfather. He and his brothers and sisters were the children of Thomas Comber who had also been Rector of Oswaldkirk besides other previous appointments and who married Elizabeth Coote. His father was, as far as I can make out also a Thomas Comber who married Anne Wilson, he seems to have been Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Yorkshire and J.P. His father was Thomas Comber sometime Dean of Durham who married Alice Elizabeth Thornton. Her parents were William Thornton of East Newton and Alice Wandesford whose father was Sir Christopher Wandesford (or Wandesforde), Lord Deputy of Ireland (I?ve lost track of all the greats!). I found of great help in Google, some entries titled:John Rivers alias Comber of Balcombe (Rivers was the original sur name of the Comber family, then it became Rivers alias Comber and later just Comber. (the Rivers name might have come from a Plantagenet illegitimate child, of which there seem to have been many, but there is no proof, so it remains a family legend, and the “alias” part sounds very odd indeed, almost like something out of the police chronicles!), there are several entries that refer to the “Rivers alias Comber of Balcombe: Inquiries”, 2 – Archiver. and likewise 3, 4, 5 and 6, all of them .Archiver, which belongs to “Rootsweb”. As some of your ancestors were o Wandesfords and the Thorntons of East Newton, then one of your ancestors was also Robert Thornton who, in the 15th. century amused himself by copying (by hand) any manuscript he could get hold of by borrowing (I do hope he remembered to return them to their owners) and so made a collection of stories, poems legends and medicinal recipies for his own and his family?s use and entertainment. One volume was given to Lincoln Cathedral Library by Dr. comber (Alice Thornton?s husband) the other volume somehow ended up in what is now the British Library. They are known as “The Thornton Romances” or “The Thornton Mss.”, and are considered a very valuable source for the study of Middle English literature as after the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII many original manuscripts were destroyed or lost. Thanks to the kindness of the people at Lincoln University, I have been able to get hold of a facsimile copy of one of the pages of the volume of “The Thornton Romances” which is kept in the Cathedral Library. They sent it to me by e-mail just before Christmas last year. Should you be interested, I can send you a copy by mail -the handwriting is lovely to look at but the lettering is quite different from our present lettering, more like Gothic script and the English is so very ancient that one can t make out the meaning of the words. ? shall try and get hold of a copy of the ” Memoirs of the Life and Death of the Honorable the Lord Deputy Wandesforde” you mentioned you are reading. I found it on line in Google but it is rather difficult to follow on the computer screen, Amazon have it in softback edition but not in the e-book format and I doubt that any book shop here would have it, so I shall have to ask one of my nephews, who has an air pilot friend who comes and goes from the States to get it for me there. I do have Alice Thornton?s Autobiography, in softback and also on a CD as well as “Memoirs of the Life and Writings of Dr. Comber? written by his great great grandson, also a Comber, copied on a CD. Please excuse such a long letter. It?s lovely to know that one has relatives, although distant, in such unexpected places, and all thanks to Google!

Yours very sincerely,
Pat?Comber

Thornton Romances

Dear Nora: I?m sending you the reproduction of a page from the “Thornton Romances” sent to me by Lincoln University.? I do hope that it arrives safely and not accompanied by bits and pieces of all the correspondance involved in acquiring it as my computer skills are very few save a little e-mailing and digging around in Google. Thank you very much for the reproduction of the portrait of our ancestors. I had come across it quite often in Google but never imagined that one day descendants of Harriet Comber and of her brother would be in touch!?Very sincerely.?Pat – Helena Patricia Comber
helena
==
Dear Pat,
It was very good to hear from you and?really interesting to learn that we have so?many cousins in South America,
I am a relative newcomer to?Wandesforde?other than?to know that many of our ancestors used his name. You’ve seen the report of my visit with my grandson?to?Christcurch?Cathedral and I trust separately you have seen the extensive notes we kindly received from StuartKinsella, the archivist there.
I’ve just been reading “Memoirs of the life and death of the Right Honourable the Lord Deputy?Wandesforde: collected from authentic records and?MSS. by his great great grandson Thomas Comber,…Second edition.” This is a wonderful account, written in 1777 in Old English, which takes a little getting used to. It’s published by?ECCO, History and Geography and came on line from?Wordery. I don’t know the price because my sister gave it to me for Christmas, it’s softback. He? certainly achieved a great deal in a short lifetime, especially in his last few years in Ireland. I visited?Castlecomber?recently and discovered that the?Wandesford?family only sold up and left?Castlecomberin the 1960s?when they?moved to England. The house was demolished and it is now a public park called?Castlecomber?Discovery Park with plenty of references to?Wandesforde, you’ll see it on line.
Our?family’s connection is as follows;
Our great grandmother was;
Clemintina?Woodhead, her father?was;
H.J.P.?Woodhead?(Brighton) 1829-1903, his mother was;
Harriett Comber 1793-1872, her father was;
Thomas Comber 1765-1835, his father was;
Thomas Comber 1722-1779, his father was;
Thomas Comber 1688-1765, his parents were;
Alice Elizabeth Thornton 1653-1720,?and Thomas Comber, Alice’s mother was;
Alice?Wandesforde?1626-1720 and her father was;
Sir Christopher?Wandesforde?1592- 1640.
Much of this (and a lot more)?has kindly been given to us by Judy Bennett from England. Judy (like you, discovered us on line) is the granddaughter of H.G.W.?Woodhead?1844-1959, a very interesting man, you’ll find him on Google. I’ll pass on your email to?Judy and she may get in touch. I know that Judy is presently in US so there might be a delay.
It would be interesting to know when?your ancestors went off across the Atlantic!
My sister Netta and I live?near Dublin. We’re adding to our Dear Grandchildren all the time and are delighted to hear from another? cousin.
Yours sincerely
Eoin?Hickey.

Mary Rose Mulvany of Dunsany

REMEMBERING MRS. ELIZABETH HICKEY

I was never particularly interested in history until Maurice Mulvany, Anthony?s Dad, died. I was?introduced to so many cousins etc. at the funeral that I asked Anthony?s aunt, Alice Lynch, to explain?the maternal and paternal ?family trees? to me. This sparked an interest in Killeen as the Mulvany?family, we discovered, had been tenant farmers since at least the mid-eighteenth century but probably?for much longer. Many of them were, in fact, buried in the old overgrown graveyard beside the?manorial church. Then, of course, I wanted to know who lived in the castle?

A year or two later, meeting Mrs. Hickey for the first time at a function in Fox?s, I mentioned that I?had collected quite a bit of material which I would pass on to anyone interested in putting together a?history of Killeen Castle. She encouraged me to have a go at it myself and to remember not to worry?if it took a good few years to achieve ? that was normal!

Over the years I got lots of advice from her and still have a letter with important points to remember?about publishing. She kindly wrote the ?blurb? for the back of the cover. Naturally, she came to the?launch in April 1991 and insisted on looking after the sale of books. (We had published History of?Killeen Castle and republished ?70 Years Young?, Memories of Elizabeth, Countess of Fingall). I?mentioned her kindness at the launch in Dunsany Castle (as Randal Plunkett had offered us his home?as the venue). Both Mrs. Hickey and Sheila Dunsany received bouquets.

Shortly after, the same year, my friend Vicky von Schmieder and I were at a ?Save the Corncrake??coffee morning in Skryne Castle. (I remember Vicky telling me that Carl stayed in Skryne Castle as a??pg? after purchasing Corbalton.)

The launch of Skryne and the Early Normans in 1994 was a very special evening. Vicky and I were at?Finnstown House and the book is a treasured masterpiece.

In February, 1996, I spent a weekend in Ballyvaughan with Mrs. Hickey, Michelle Clarke and Vicky.

I think Mrs. Hickey was taking Michelle under her wing as she had just returned from South Africa?and separated from her husband. Vicky asked me if I would join them and, as it was a birthday?weekend for me, Anthony told me to go and enjoy! We had a lovely two nights in the knowledgeable?company of Mrs. Hickey and other historians from all over Ireland. One of the days we visited a?church that had been de-roofed and gutted at the time of the reformation and there was a lot of ooh?s?and ahh?s about the ruin ? Mrs. Hickey said quietly to me ?Mary Rose you would know that all the?medieval churches in England are still intact and in use. They just changed the detail on the notice?board outside?! Then in the graveyard she quoted a verse from an old headstone:

I had several excursions to Dublin with Mrs. Hickey. We were at a house in Ely Place which the?Georgian Society had recently restored and also the Genealogy Office and National Library in Kildare?Street. She showed me where the family apartment was on Stephen?s Green.?Over the years we kept in touch and one day my daughter Clodagh and two friends called to the castle?to see Mrs. Hickey. One of her dogs had just had puppies and she instantly christened the three little?bitches in the litter ? Clodagh, Cabrini and Jennifer! They were very flattered.

I called one day in 1997 to the castle with my friend Micheal O?Brien. He asked if he could come the?following summer to paint the castle with the flower garden in the foreground. We rang in 1998 to see?if Micheal could come but Mrs. Hickey said that she hadn?t been able to stake the delphiniums so the?garden was below par. Micheal said that there was one thing a painter could do that a photographer?couldn?t ? he?d stand the delphiniums upright in his painting. He duly did and Eoin, Robin or Peter?bought it. Micheal also painted the avenue with the cyclamens in bloom for Netta.

Having already acquired his first swarm of bees a good years previous from Mrs. Hickey, Anthony?received a telephone call from her in the late Autumn of 1998 to come and get some of the cyclamens?that Mary Rose admired. As he hadn?t appeared promptly she telephoned again to say that time was?running out for her and to come and collect the plants. He hastened over and we have Skryne?cyclamens and night-scented stock as a constant and wonderful reminder of Mrs.Hickey.

I called, having telephoned 046 25155 first, around December 1998 on my way home from work and?we sat chatting at a lovely warm fire. The next time I visited was for her ?wake? and Anthony had a?glass of the good whiskey she had asked to be served!

MRM

24/03/2015