Remembering Nuala Writers' Weekend Doolin
Nuala O’Faolain 1940-2008
The upcoming Doolin Writers’ weekend put me in mind of my dear friend, the writer and journalist Nuala O’Faolain, whose 10th anniversary is coming up in May.
We met back in the late 70’s when Nuala made a television documentary on our restaurant, Bruach na hAille, in Doolin. Soon after she bought a house in Lahinch and we have been friends ever since. Our common love of walking and the Burren, led us to walking every inch of it trying to identify the plants and birds of the area. We had a pact that we would each identify a new plant or a new bird each year, but when we came round to the summer, inevitably; we mixed up our hawks-beard with our knap-weed or our meadow-pipit with our reed-bunting.
On her visits to America we would take care of Molly, her beloved collie. When Molly died a few years before Nuala, we got a labrador, Maybelle, who again we watched when Nuala was in America. We still take care of and enjoy the company of Maybelle our last physical remembrance of Nuala.
Nuala and Molly
She got sick in early 2008 and faced her illness with great courage talking openly about her impending death, especially in the stunning interview she gave to Marian Finnucane about dying. One thing she said to me, which I would dearly like to be able to tell her that she was wrong about, was that most people she knew would have forgotten about her and moved on with their lives by September of the year she died, 2008. It certainly did not happen like that as we still talk about her with her friends and family.
Nuala left behind five great books: Are You Somebody?, My Dream of You, Almost There: The Onward Journey of a Dublin Woman, The Story of Chicago May, and Best Love, Rosie. As a journalist, she wrote an opinion column in The Irish Times and The Sunday Tribune.
Doolin Cave Visitor Center Dedicated to Nuala O’Faolain