Helen O'Clery

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Helen O'Clery (née Gallagher) (1910 – 11 October 2006) was an Irish writer specializing in children's books.


O'Clery was born as Helen Gallagher in Stranorlar, County Donegal, the middle child of three. Her father Henry Thomas Gallagher was Crown Solicitor for County Donegal. Her mother Eileen (née Cullen) came from County Wexford. Her mother started several small industries to help stem the tide of emigration from the locality, one of which, confectionery, proved very successful. Her father joined her mother in the business and they established Urney Chocolates, which developed into one of the largest confectionery manufacturers in Europe.[1]

In 1936, she married Dermot O'Clery, a civil and mechanical engineer. They lived at Tallaght, in County Dublin and had five children.

Many of her books were illustrated by her daughter Ann.


  • Sparks Fly Collins, London. 1948
  • Spring Show Collins, London. 1949
  • Swiss Adventure Collins, London. 1951
  • The Mystery of Black Sod Point, Franklin Watts, Inc. New York. 1959
  • The Mystery of the Phantom Ship, Franklin Watts. Inc., New York. 1961
  • Mysterious Waterway, Allen Figgis, Dublin. 1963


  1. ^ Nolan, Karen (2010). Sweet Memories- The Story of Urney Chocolates. Dublin: Blue Rook Press. 

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