The news of Riordans star Moira Hoey’s passing was greeted with sadness in Ballyvaughan, an area she visited many times throughout her 88 years.
Originally from County Cork, Moira Hoey (née Deady) was best known for her role as Mary Riordan in the Sunday night farm series and later played Nellie Connors in Glenroe.
Before her television fame, Moira visited Ballyvaughan regularly as part of the travelling roadshows before later returning with her daughter, Bernie.
“Bernie Hoey was also a regular visitor to the village. Bernie used to sing each summer in Hyland’s Hotel and Moira used to visit every summer until last summer, I think,” said local man Mort O’Loughlin, who met the actress on a number of occasions.
“She was a wonderful lady. She was the life and soul of the party. She was great on the stage, she was great on television but she was brilliant in the pub. She loved cabaret. She was a friend of everyone up here. She was kind and always spoke to people and was great to talk to,” he continued.
Moira’s links to the area were cemented when her daughter Bernie met and married Michael Connole from Kilcorney, between Ballyvaughan and Kilfenora.
Jim Hyland, along with his wife Dympna, were owners of the hotel where Bernie sang and Moira visited for many years. The couple have fond memories of Moira and her family.
“Bernie used to sing for us over a number of seasons from the late ’70s through the ’80s. Moria was often a guest there in the old days. She was very supportive of Bernie. She was a great family woman and loved to have the daughters around her. The Hoeys live in Greystones and there was another family from that area called the Clancys. They used to call themselves The Young Clancy Brothers. They knew each other well and the two families used to come down to Ballyvaughan together. The first time Bernie appeared in Ballyvaughan she sang with the Clancys. She sang every night in the bar and always brought the house down. Her mother used to say to her ‘you are a professional, act like a professional and dress like a professional’. Moira always insisted she do this and not go on ‘topsy turvey’. That was the kind of person Moira was,” Jim recalled fondly.
“We have the kindest memories of the Hoeys and Moira. She was an amazing, warm, generous person. I used to love it when they would be coming. Bernie used to ring ahead and say ‘Mum is coming with me so prepare for the worst’, meaning the best of course. Moira was a wonderful person, great craic and a typical theatre performer,” he added.
The Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport, Mary Hanafin TD, Cathal Goan, director general of RTÉ and members of the acting community were among those who paid tribute to Moira. She died in Loughlinstown Hospital in Dublin on Monday after a short illness and is survived by her three daughters and a son.