Collection: Nancy McCarthy Collection

Collection DescriptionAnna Patricia (Nancy) McCarthy was born in 1902 to Charles and Annie McCarthy, one of ten children, three girls and seven boys. Her father owned a plumber’s shop in Emmet Place, Cork city, and was by all accounts a successful businessman. Along with her sisters Nancy was a boarder at the Brigidine Convent, Mountrath, Co. Laois. After qualifying as a Chemist she went to work for a number of chemists, e.g. Boots in Birmingham, England. She moved back to Cork city to work in Blair’s Chemist, Patrick Street, Cork, in [1926] and later, in a move unusual for a single woman at that time, opened her own chemist shop in Douglas in 1946. She retired in 1986, and died in October 1988, aged 86. Throughout her life Nancy played an active and influential role in the cultural life of Cork city. As a young amateur actress she performed with the Cork Drama League, meeting there the writer Frank O’Connor (then known as Michael O’Donovan) with whom she had a romantic relationship and long standing friendship. Through O’Connor Nancy met many of the artistic and literary figures of her day and as her correspondence reveals, became a friend and confident to many. Her love of rural Ireland and the Irish language led her to spend many holidays in the Cork/Kerry Gaeltacht where she became one of the circle gathered around the fireside of the Tailor and Antsy in Gougane Barra. In later life, she was a committee member of the Cork Orchestral Society, and an enthusiastic follower of the Cork Ballet Company and the Cork Film Festival. Donated to UCC Library in 1998 by Harriet O’Donovan-Sheehy, widow of the Cork born writer Frank O’Connor and Executrix of Nancy McCarthy’s estate. [UCC Special Collections and Archives]
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Repository: UCC Special Collections & Archives

Repository NameUCC Special Collections & Archives
AddressSpecial Collections & Archives Q-1 Boole Library University College Cork Cork City
EircodeT12 ND89
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