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.
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”.