Dec 18 2013

To Máirín, with love …

Posted by     14 Comments    Posted under: Reviews



Dearest Máirin,
I know this seems odd, a love letter from me, someone you have only met in the last few years, but as I told you that first time we met at a Slow Food event in Galway, I feel like we are kindred spirits.
Standing there, immaculately turned out, showing us your smart and sophisticated fashion sense, with your hands clasped and eyes glistening, we were never quite sure if you were going to burst into laughter, or tears, as you talked us through your journey of love, life, food and of course, family. Having a membership to the Slow Food organisation has many perks, and I have found over the years it is the place to meet the most authentic people. I only feel sad that our paths have not crossed sooner. This must be all part of the bigger plan though; the one neither of us can control.
Inviting me into your home and heart has only deepened my unquenchable desire to hear more stories from you, and to say you are an inspiration seems, well, not enough. But then I looked up the word inspire – the old fashioned way, in the dictionary – and the explanation nailed it in one sentence: 
Inspire: To affect, guide or arouse, by divine influence. 
You, so gracious with your time and tales, offer such strength and encouragement to younger women like me. Because you see Máirin, just like you, I want to find the courage to follow my dreams. Knowing you have done just that, gives me the motivation I need to work harder to achieve whatever I set my mind to. I won’t be waiting for someone else to come along and hand it to me on a silver platter.
Spending an afternoon with you at your home overlooking Galway bay, in Oranmore, sharing tea and smoked salmon pancakes, was the highlight of these past few months for me as a student. For most of my life, I have surrounded myself by strong courageous women of all ages. Women who can teach me something but are also eager to learn from me. Women who are willing to share their secrets and understand that in order to climb all the rungs on the ladder of success, we must support each other by offering encouragement and motivation. 


Máirin, I want what you have. An insatiable zest for love and life. A passion for our national language and culture. A way with words that will whip anyone into shape, but caressingly so. An affection for friends that is relentless, a fondness for fabulous food and deep rooted knowledge of knowing what it takes to keep a family together –  creating an impenetrable bond. 

You truly do inspire me Máirín. Thank you for being such a rock xx 

Much grá … love Móna


Earlier this year, I took a morning off college and hopped on the train to go watch Máirín in action as she and her team began shooting the food shots for ‘Celebrating Irish Salmon‘, Máirín’s 5th book.


Her publishers (Vincent Murphy and Mary Ruddy from Artisan House) were kind enough to let me take a few photos – they were working with food stylist extraordinaire Tricia Doyle and award winning photographer Walter Pfeiffer.


They, as a team, have produced the most beautiful book which is truly a celebration of Irish Salmon, the most noble of fish.


I can only hope by the time I reach my seventies that I have accomplished half of the achievements Máirín has.

Book cover Salmon

Artisan House has given us a copy of the book to giveaway to one of our lucky readers here on the blog. Leave me a comment down below if you would like your name to be entered into the hat. Happy to ship it worldwide!


A much longer interview with Máirín Uí Chomáin will be published in the Connacht Tribune in a few weeks. I will post it here once the paper has sold out!

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14 Comments + Add Comment

  • What a beautiful book and an even more beautiful letter! I hope more women will follow your lead and let someone know the impact they have had on their life.

    • Dear Mary Sue,

      You and Mary Dean and Carmen all slot into the same category as this wonderful woman. Over the years you taught me so much about standing tall and working hard and you gave me the strength and encouragement and motivation to make big bold decisions. I love you dearly and can’t wait for you to come back for a visit xx

  • Now that’s a cookbook I’d love to get my hands on…. celebrating true Irishness.


    • Margaret,
      There are over 100 recipes from Máirín and several excellent Irish chefs – a book you would relish for sure xx see you Friday!

  • I love your blog and would be thrilled to win the book ! 🙂

    • Why thanks so much for this and best of luck for a win!

  • Beautiful letter, Mona. We all need inspiring people in our lives. She sounds like a fantastic women!

    • Why thank you June. I know. Máirín is truly inspirational and I feel very fortunate to have met her.
      Have a wonderful Christmas xx

  • Mona,

    Loved that piece, If you look back on the archives in RTE or TG4 you;ll find Mairin had a cookery showed, called i think Cuisine le Mairin. i remember it well!! So true, about the grace, elegance and classic style that she has, she alwayts seemed to have had it!

    There is an old Irish saying, “Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireann na daoine”, it might translate as “People live in each other’s shadows.” but its more that people need each other and I see meeting people who inspire us, can lead us to inspire others in our own way!

    • Hello Sarah,

      Oh – I am very familiar with her TV shows, and her beautiful books ‘Cuairt sa Cistin’ ague ‘Tamall sa Cistin’.
      She has accomplished so much – and all with style and elegance. We all ‘need’ someone, and having a ‘Máirín’ in our lives
      just makes life all the more sweeter. I can only hope to be an inspiration to someone when I am her age!

      Must work harder xx

      Happy Christmas and best wishes for 2014!

  • Good Morning, Mona
    Well structured article ……

    • Thanks very much Padraig.
      Have a great Christmas and happy new year too!

  • Hi Mona I totally get your grá for this lovely lady. I was in Galway for your blogging seminar where she spoke and what kindness and gentleness just radiated from her (sounds cheesy but in her case it’s true!)Happy Christmas to you

    • Annie,
      She is one heck of a gal isn’t she. I have just loved getting to know her so much better over the past few months
      and to see the force she has put into her new book – it just amazes me.
      Happy Christmas Annie x

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About Móna
I am a native Galway girl that seems to be drawn to professions that rhyme with 'err'. Writer, Mother, Restauranteur, Wedding Planner, Dishwasher, Grass cutter, Cocktail maker. I suppose you could say I am a well rounded entrepreneur.
You can find me here
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