Maura Laverty

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Maura Laverty (née Kelly; 1907 – 26 July 1966) was an Irish author, journalist and broadcaster known for her work on Irish soap opera Tolka Row. She published several novels, short stories and critical pieces throughout her career.


Born in Rathangan, County Kildare, in Ireland, Laverty was educated at Brigidine Convent, Carlow, where she studied teacher-training.[1] She later moved to Spain, taking up the position of governess and later secretary to Princess Bibesco and eventually becoming a foreign correspondent based within Madrid. Laverty returned to Ireland for the remainder of her career and worked as a journalist and broadcaster in Dublin for the national radio station, RTÉ.

Upon her return to Ireland she married the journalist James Laverty in 1928. They had three children,[2] one of whom was the artist Barry Castle, who illustrated some of her mother's work.

Her first novel Never No More was published to widespread acclaim in 1942. It was based in County Kildare, drawing heavily on personal experiences during her time in Derrymore House.[3] Laverty would follow this with such works as Touched by the Thorn (1943) and Alone We Embark (1943). Two of her books were banned in the Republic of Ireland, including her second, the semi-autobiographical No More than Human, which apparently offended the censor because of its frankness about the female body.[2] She was also the author of two now classic cookbooks - Maura Laverty's Cookery Book (1946) ( illustrated by her friend Louis le Brocquy ) and Full and Plenty (1960). Both contain anecdotes and conversation about food, as well as practical recipes.

She is well known as the writer of RTÉ's Tolka Row, the station's first soap opera that ran between 1964 and 1968, itself largely an adaptation of her play Liffey Lane. Laverty also wrote numerous children's stories including The Cottage in the Bog (1946) and The Green Orchard (1949).[2]


  • Never No More (1942)
  • Alone We Embark (1943), issued in America as Touched by the Thorn (1943)
  • No More than Human (1944)
  • Gold of Glanaree (1945)
  • The Cottage in the Bog (1946)
  • Lift Up Your Gates (1946)
  • The Green Orchard (1949)
  • The Queen of Aran’s Daughter Publisher: Poolbeg Press; New Ed edition (13 Mar 1997), ISBN 1853717118, ISBN 978-1853717116


  • A Tree in the Crescent
  • Liffey Lane
  • Tolka Row


  • Flour Economy (1941)
  • Maura Laverty’s Cookbook (1946) Republished by Longman's UK, 1948.
  • Kind Cooking (1955);
  • Full and Plenty (1960)

Critical pieces[edit]


  1. ^ [1] Irish Playography
  2. ^ a b c Quinlan, Ailin (18 June 2011). "The Mammy of Irish cookery". Lifestyle. Dublin. Irish Independent. Retrieved 13 August 2012.
  3. ^ Maura Laverty at