by ehistoryadmin on June 6, 2023

Leinster Leader 30 July 1966

Maura Laverty

Playwright, author and broadcaster, Maura Laverty, was found dead at her home in Rathfarnham, Dublin, on Wednesday, by her sister, Mrs. Margaret Kavanagh. She was 59. It was thought she had a heart attack.

Mrs. Laverty has willed her body to the Royal College of Surgeons. She was one of the first women to broadcast from Radio Eireann and in recent years was widely known for the Telefis Eireann series “Tolka Row.”

Born in Rathangan, she went to Spain as a governess when she was 17, and she also reported for a time on a newspaper in Madrid. Returning to Ireland in the mid-twenties, she was married and settled down to a successful career of journalism and broadcasting. Four of her novels: “Never No More”, “Alone We Embark”, “No More Than Human” and Lift Up Your Gates” were published and at the time of her death she was engaged in writing another. “Lift Up Your Gates”, which she wrote in 1947, afterwards became a stage success.

She wrote a trilogy of plays: “Liffey Lane”, “A Tree in the Crescent” and “Tolka Row” the best known of the three, its 100th episode having been televised on Telefis Eireann in May. Preparations were being made for its new series in autumn.

In a cookery field she was an expert and her cookery book “Kind Cooking” published in 1947, with illustrations by Louis Le Brocquey, was chosen as the Irish non-fiction book of the month in America. “Full And Plenty” was another of her very popular cookery books.

Mrs. Laverty was in charge of women’s and children’s programmes on Radio Eireann for some time and she compered the E.S.B. programme for 11 years. A number of her children’s books were translated into several European languages. She also wrote extensively for some of the mass-circulation magazines in America.

She is survived by her husband, Seamus, a journalist in the “Belfast Newsletter”, two daughters, Maeve, who is married with four children in Philadelphia; Margaret Finbarr (Barry) married in London, and one son, Jimmy who is 17; three brothers, Thomas O’Kelly, Everton House, Rathfarnham; Colbert, New Jersey, and Walter, Athlone, and two sisters, Mrs. Margaret Kavanagh, Dublin, and Rev. Mother M. Conleth, a Brigidine nun in Australia.

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