Favourite hideaways of mine in Ireland
I have just returned from a memorable trip to Ireland – my semi-adopted homeland because I was actually born in London. My recently-departed mother and all her family were born and bred in County Laios, set in the Midlands of Ireland. The farm her parents spent their hardworking lives running is still in the family and belongs now to two of my cousins. They were a struggling, hardworking Catholic family.
Until 1922, when the Irish Free State came into existence and British rule over Ireland was drawing to its bitter close, Laois was known as Queen’s County (a nod to British monarchy).
My mother used to recount to me many stories of local Protestants helping the Catholics and vice-versa (lending one another tractors, or a gallon or two of petrol when rationing during the WWII badly hit their agricultural way of life even though Ireland had chosen a neutral position). She told me that the families of the two faiths lived alongside one another in peace. Of course, this wasn’t always the case.
Ballyfin, considered the most lavish Regency house in Ireland, is an example. It was built in the 1820s on the site of previous luxury manor houses, by Sir Charles Coote and his wife Carolyn. It stayed in the Coote family until the 1920s when it was bought by the Patrician Brothers, a Roman Catholic teaching order. At this stage, Ireland was taking back its independence from the British and the brothers ran Ballyfin as a school right through to the twentieth-first century. In 2002, a decline in vocations, less brothers to run the school, forced them to sell the estate on.
- A Python’s Paradise: Carol Drinkwater Interview A Clockwork Orange 50th anniversary exclusive! 0
- Writer's Forum Where I Write: Phil Barrington visits novelist Carol Drinkwater at her French olive farm 0
- The Irish Times, December 2017 From award-winning actor to bestselling author: John Rainsford discovers the emotional outpouring behind the writer’s latest novel. 0
- Interview with Carol Drinkwater, author of the Olive Series The Good Life France. 0
- Daily Mail: Emotional ties with actress and author Carol Drinkwater Carol on notebooks, her obsession with olives, getting married in the Cook Islands, showbiz running in the family and her days on All Creatures Great & Small 0
- NAW Interview with Carol Drinkwater New Asian Writing Online Asian Literary Community interviews Carol following the publication of Hotel Paradise 0
- Where are they now? Actress and author Carol Drinkwater. STAGE and screen actress Carol played Helen Herriot in the popular TV series All Creatures Great And Small (1978-1985) with Robert Hardy, Christopher Timothy and Peter Davison. 0
- Interview for WAMC's The Roundtable, Northeast Public Radio USA An award-winning, nationally recognized eclectic talk program. 0