Sun, Dec

First Rose Of Tralee: Love Story Inspired Famous Festival


Mary O’Connor dreams of being a teacher, but with the local priest her father plans to negotiate a lucrative bride price. When she goes to work at Westville, the big house, first as a kitchen skivvy and then promoted to the nursery duties, she realises there is life beyond poverty.  She and William Pembroke, the heir to Westville, fall in love and plan to marry. But a brutal stabbing results in him fleeing to India. When he returns at the height of the great Famine she is dead.

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About the Author

Patricia O'Reilly has written 12 books, fiction non-fiction.

Her historical fiction includes The First Rose of Tralee, the story of the servant girl who inspired the annual Rose of Tralee International Festival; The Interview, what occurred between Irish Designer Eileen Gray and Bruce Chatwin, golden boy of Fleet Street when he interviewed her in 1972?; A Type of Beauty, the story of Kathleen Newton, mistress and muse to French artist Jacques Tissot.

She has come the route of freelance feature writing; and radio plays, documentaries, and teaches the writing of Fiction in UCD and at Literary Festivals.

Reviews - 'O'Reilly weaves a tale of love and loss as charming as the song that inspired its title' (Irish Independent)
'O'Reilly's well-drawn characters keep the pages turning' (Sunday Independent)