If you are looking for a place to visit that combines history, culture and rural charm, you might want to consider visiting Molloy Cottage in Milltown in County Galway. This is the birthplace and home of Michael Joseph Molloy, or M.J. Molloy, a famous international dramatist and playwright who wrote many acclaimed plays based on his own experiences of rural life and folklore.
M.J. Molloy was born in Milltown on the 3rd of March 1914, although he liked to pretend to be three years younger than he was. He was the fifth of eight children born to William Molloy and Maria Tucker. He attended St Jarlath’s college in Tuam for his education and later entered the Columban seminary at Dalgin Park in Shrule to study for the priesthood. However, his plans were cut short when he contracted tuberculosis and had to abandon his studies.
During his convalescence, he spent time in Dublin and became fascinated by the theatre, especially the Abbey Theatre, where he saw many plays by Irish writers. He returned to Milltown and began writing his own plays, while also farming there until 1973.
His first play, ‘Old Road’, was produced in The Abbey Theatre in 1943. It was a success and marked the beginning of his long and fruitful career as a playwright. His plays were mostly set in rural Ireland and featured characters and situations that he observed or heard about in his own community. He had a keen ear for dialogue and a sense of humour that made his plays appealing to audiences.
Some of his most notable plays include ‘The Visiting House’, ‘The King of Friday’s Men’, ‘The Wood of the Whispering’, ‘The Paddy Pedlar’, ‘Daughter from over the Water’ and ‘The Bachelor’s Daughter’. His plays were performed not only in Ireland, but also in London and New York. He was a member of Aosdana and won the Irish Arts Council Award in 1972.
M.J. Molloy died in 1994 at the age of 80. He is remembered as one of the most prolific and popular Irish playwrights of the 20th century. His plays are still performed today and are considered part of the Irish literary heritage.
Molloy Cottage is where M.J. Molloy lived and wrote most of his plays. It is a modest but cosy house that reflects his simple and humble lifestyle. It contains many of his personal belongings, such as his typewriter, books, photographs and manuscripts. It also has a display of posters, programmes and reviews of his plays.
Molloy Cottage is open to visitors who want to learn more about M.J. Molloy’s life and work, although access to the cottage may need to be sought in advance from the Milltown Heritage Society.
If you are interested in Irish theatre, culture or history, you will find Molloy Cottage a worthwhile destination. You will get a glimpse into the life and mind of one of Ireland’s most celebrated playwrights and enjoy the beauty and tranquility of rural Galway.
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