Maura is a Kildare-based author but is originally from Co. Derry. She married a Kildare farmer and moved to Maynooth.
Maura grew up in the town of Portstewart, and went to St. Colum’s primary school first, followed by Dominican College. She is the daughter of Eimear and Paul, and she is the eldest of three children
WHAT IS YOUR FIRST KILDARE MEMORY?
I’m a blow in! I only moved to Kildare in recent years, but my first visit to the county was back in 1996 when my family and I stayed with friends in Naas. It was 2014 when I returned, my then boyfriend bringing me to out to watch his local GAA team, Rathcoffey, play a match, before we headed into that Maynooth nightlife staple, the Roost.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE THING ABOUT KILDARE?
It has the best of both worlds; gorgeous countryside and forestry where you can escape the chaos of modern life, yet close enough to Dublin that you have the “big city” option for work or a night out. And of course, it would be remiss of me not to mention my new husband as one of my favourite things about the county, him a proud Kildare man!
IDEAL DAY OUT IN KILDARE?
I’d start the day with a lie in, followed by coffee and a chocolate croissant from L’Art du Chocolat on Main Street, Maynooth. Then a run along the canal path out past Carton House. After that, a browse around the Maynooth Bookshop where I’d treat myself to a new book before lunch in the Coffee Mill. Out to Donadea then for a walk through the forest and a cuppa in what I’m convinced is the world’s most adorable cafe - the Donadea Forest Cafe. I’d wrap up the day with dinner in Picadero’s followed by a drink in Avenue or O’Neill’s if there’s a man with a guitar!
CAN YOU TELL ME A BIT ABOUT YOUR NEW BOOK, FALLING FOR A FARMER?
The book is about my own experiences as a “townie” entering into a relationship with a farmer. It started life as a column with the Farmers Journal before I built my own blog around the subject, too. That, in turn, gave rise to a semi-regular slot on RTÉ Radio One’s Countrywide programme. I’d always wanted to write a book and I have a Masters in Writing from NUI Galway, but until 2017, I’d never committed myself to making that dream a reality. It’s a real life love story that plays out against the backdrop of the farm, or, as Damien O’Reilly of Countrywide decsribed it, it’s “Dirty Dancing meets Glenroe!”