TV EXECUTIVE AND PLACENAME SCHOLAR

Funeral of Maedhbh Ní Chonmhídhe-Piskorska

Funeral of Maedhbh Ní Chonmhídhe-Piskorska

Funeral of Maedhbh Ní Chonmhídhe-Piskorska

Funeral of Maedhbh Ní Chonmhídhe-Piskorska

Many will fondly remember the television series “Wanderly Wagon” on RTÉ (1967-82). They may not however recall who the executive in charge of childrens’ television was. Maedhbh Ní Chonmhídhe-Piskorska (Maeve Conway-Piskorski) died at her home in Dublin on New Year’s Day after a short illness, aged 83. After becoming head of childrens’ programming in RTÉ she was appointed head of the education department in 1969. As the Irish Times reports, she came from Ballivor in County Meath and received her secondary education at the St Louis Convent, Carrickmacross, Co. Monaghan. She studied at UCD and received an MA in French literature, then joined the Irish Placenames Commission (An Coimisiún Logainmeacha) as a temporary assistant in 1952 along with Ciarán Mac Mathúna, who was also to join Radio Éireann later. After two years in the Commission, she started as a producer in Radio Éireann in 1954. Maeve retired from RTÉ nearly 22 years ago in 1991. She took part in the group Age and Opportunity and belonged to Parlaimint na mBan (womens’ Parliament), which sought to gain recognition for women in the Irish language and cultural movement. She also published two books of writings – including Seanchas na Midhe (Meath lore & history) – by her mother, the teacher and archaeologist Maighréad Ní Chonmhidhe (Margaret Conway, founding editor of Ríocht na Midhe). Copies of the “Seanchas” were brought to Holy Cross Church in Dundrum where Maedhbh’s funeral was held this morning. The book contains a selection of lectures given by Margaret to groups such as the Irish Countrywomens’ Association and Macra na Tuaithe on subjects such as Oliver Goldsmith and the Slane poet-soldier Francis Ledwidge.

Meath Lore

Meath Lore

Former RTÉ editor of religious programmes Fr Dermod McCarthy was a concelebrant. Many retired RTÉ staff were among the mourners, including Mike Burns and Padraig O Gaora, as well as former Directors General George Waters, Bob Collins and Cathal Goan. Pádhraic Ó Ciardha represented TG4. Former NUJ Irish Secretary Jim Eadie and Press Ombudsman John Horgan were also there to say farewell to a person who in different ways made a big contribution to Irish culture both on and off the box. Sympathy goes to her husband Ryszard and son Stefan and the family circle. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a hanam dílis. Maedhbh was buried in her native Ballivor. Her obituary appeared in the Meath Chronicle with a picture of her speaking at the launch of the writings of her mother, “Meath: Towards a History”.

Meadhbh Ní Chonmhídhe-Piskorska

Meadhbh Ní Chonmhídhe-Piskorska

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3 thoughts on “TV EXECUTIVE AND PLACENAME SCHOLAR

  1. I’m very grateful for this posting as my mother, May McKenna (nee White), and Maeve were the best of pals in university days and for eternity, even after our family moved to London. Indeed, she stayed with us often as she was over for some RTE/BBC conference, or such.. May and Maeve were very alike in that it never occurred to them that their gender should be a hindrance to their career trajectories. My mother as one of Ireland’s first professional interpeters and Maeve as a broadcaster and administrator at RTE who was oblivious to any notion of a glass ceiling. Positively myopic, and oh how she climbed! My last meeting with Maeve was at Mammy’s funeral mass in Blackrock in early 2007. She was her ebullient self and I loved her for that. My deepest sympathies to Richard and Stephan. I can only pray that they may enjoy a wonder reunion above. (Stephen McKenna)

  2. Thank you Stephen for your personal memories of Maedhbh and for providing an interesting link with London. I have enjoyed looking at your pictures of London, especially Waterloo, which has many personal memories for me, having travelled there on many an occasion when my father was working in Fleet Street.

  3. Thank you, but I may have give away more than I intended! Anyway, you’re very kind. MCP really was a remarkable person. Both my parents are passed now so this news has only filtered through to us today and comes at the most poignant of times (being Mammy’s sixth anniversary this week and Daddy’s 2nd next week). From the archive I managed to quickly retrieve this picture. Maeve is on the left and my mother in the centre. This was Dublin at the beginning of the 50s when people say Ireland was utterly in the Dark Ages, still. Looking at this spirited faces I’d say that was only a part of the story.

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