Mary O’Neill makes small, delicate pieces of the famous Irish Carrickmacross Lace from her studio – The Lace Gallery close to Altamont Gardens. All pieces are designed by Mary featuring Irish symbols including the Shamrock and Claddagh. Each piece of her work is signed, dated and numbered and is presented as a framed wall piece that makes an attractive gift for any home.
Directions: 4km from the N80 at Kilbride Cross (The Forge Restaurant). Pass Altamont Gardens, The Lace Gallery is 2.5km from this point on the right hand side of the road.
OPENING TIMES: April – September, Monday to Friday 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday 2 p.m. – 6 p.m. Other times by arrangement.
Borris lace is a craft which was introduced to the South Carlow town around 1857 by Lady Harriet Kavanagh of Borris House. It was established as a local craft to provide much needed employment. Tradition has it that Lady Kavanagh visited Corfu and was so impressed by some specimens of Greek lace that she bought some. She fostered the craft at a time when Borris and its estates were ravaged by the effects of the Great Famine. In the days when the craft was vigorously pursued by the ladies of Borris they carried out their lace work in the daylight outside their homes as it was not possible to work in the dark environment of their houses.
Extract from an article that was printed in the Nationalist and Leinster Times on Friday, November 1, 1991