Moira O'Neill

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Moira O'Neill was the pseudonym of Agnes Shakespeare Higginson (1864–1955), a popular Irish-Canadian poet who wrote ballads and other verse inspired by County Antrim, where she lived at Cushendun. In 1895, she and her husband Walter Skrine lived on a 16,500 acre ranch in Alberta.[1]

She also used the name Nesta. She published Songs of the Glens of Antrim (1900) and More Songs of the Glens of Antrim (1921). From the first of these collections, composer Charles Villiers Stanford selected the six poems of his song-cycle 'An Irish Idyll' (publ. 1901), dedicated to baritone Harry Plunket Greene, which includes one of Stanford's best-known songs, 'The Fairy Lough'. Her poem Sea Wrack was also set to music for voice and piano by the composer Hamilton Harty and this remains a popular work today.

Mary Nesta Skrine[edit]

Her daughter, Mary Nesta Skrine (1904-1996), was a writer, known as Molly Keane and "M. J. Farrell".


  1. ^ Sanderson, Kay (1999). 200 Remarkable Alberta Women. Calgary: Famous Five Foundation. p. 18. 

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