Hazel: A Life of Lady Lavery 1880-1935 by Sinead McCooleThis first biography of a pioneering Irish woman, wife of the great painter, sheds new light on the personal lives of some of Irelands most revered patriots, including Michael Collins.
Born into a wealthy Chicago-Irish family, Hazel Martyn studied art and made regular visits to France where she fell in love with the Belfast-born painter, John Lavery, twenty-four years her senior. After the death of her first husband (it was a marriage arranged by her mother), she married Lavery and they settled in London. There her popularity and beauty became legendary, their home frequented as a salon. Guests included Churchill, Asquith, Bernard Shaw, J.M. Barrie, Maugham, and Evelyn Waugh.
A growing interest in Irish politics often brought the Laverys to Dublin, where Hazel began to assist the national cause. Her London home played host to the historical Anglo-Irish Conference of 1921. Famed for her friendship and love for Michael Collins, she was credited by many with staging the signing of the Treaty. When Civil War broke out, the Laverys moved to Dublin, her husband to paint the historical events, she to continue her relationship with Collins. After his assassination she continued to fight for his cause despite threats and comparisons to Kitty OShea. Watching de Valera dismantle the Treaty and the diplomatic links she had worked so hard to establish, Hazel died at fifty five, believing her life utterly without purpose. She received her token of appreciation from the Irish government when they used her portrait on the currency, and it remains in use today as a ghostly watermark.
Although commemorated in over 400 paintings by her husband, Lady Laverys life has remained quite secret until this biography. Drawing on interviews with Laverys acquaintances and her daughter Alice, and making use for the first time of a unique cache of private correspondence and scrapbooks, Sinead McCoole has been able to reconstructed the life of one of modern Irelands most fascinating women.
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She was buried afterwards at Aughagower Cemetery. Parish Priest Fr Charlie McDonnell told the congregation that there was always support for those in distress, and that nobody should find themselves in the situation that had been visited upon the community. Sometimes staying in those places and being unable to reach out to the hand that is very often there — of friendship, of compassion, of love — leads us to even darker places.
Haunting message of Irish 'murder suicide' mum who was found dead in home with seven-year-old son
Shane O'Driscoll fought back tears as he gave a heart-rending eulogy at a funeral service for his seven-year-old son. The boy's parents were no longer in a relationship. His London-based father is from Bray and had been an altar boy at the church as a schoolboy. He had a huge heart. He was very sensitive little boy who was wise beyond his years," he said. He recalled days when he would swim beside his son in the pool and tell him to "keep focused.
The year-old mother and her seven-year-old son were found dead at their home but the cause of death is still unknown. The inquests into the deaths of a mother and her young son in South Ruislip has been opened by a coroner.
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The father of a boy who died in a suspected murder-suicide this week has expressed his devastation at losing his young son. My best buddy has been taken from this world and taken from all his little friends. Ms Higgins, originally from Aughagower, County Mayo, was said to be depressed in the time leading up to her death. Barbara Lonnan, a neighbour who lived close to Ms Higgins in Ruislip, said: "When she first came here two years ago she was really bubbly but gradually she got more and more depressed. I told her there are people who can get you help but I don't think she ever went. She said: "I think it was because of her boyfriend and life in general getting on top of her.
Their bodies were found at their home in London on Wednesday. A young Irish mum was found dead alongside her seven-year-old son in a suspected "murder-suicide". Police, who forcibly entered the home, confirmed the identity of the pair on Thursday and said they are not looking for anyone else over the horrific deaths. Ms Higgins, 37, was from Aughagower in Westport, Co Mayo , but had been living in London for more than 11 years and had worked as a nurse and a legal advisor. It emerged on Thursday that Sinead, who treated Premier League footballers from Arsenal and Chelsea through her nursing job, has posted a series of haunting messages on social media before her death. When she first came here two years ago she was really bubbly but gradually she got more and more depressed.