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Mary Anne’s Shop, Rathmullan

Mary Anne Friel lived near Elly, Oughterlin and worked for Mrs. Boyce in Downings. When Mrs. Boyce decided to retire from the knitting business she offered Mary Anne a choice of machines. Mary Anne chose two and brought them to Rathmullan.

Being close to her customers was important, so Mary Anne bought two terraced houses in Kerrs Bay, Rathmullan and joined the two by doorways, one upstairs, one downstairs. In those two houses she raised her six children and managed to create employment for a couple local ladies.

One of her proudest moments was when she received an anonymous commission for a woollen ladies outfit. She made the outfit and later found out it was for Maeve Hillery who was the wife of President Patrick Hillery.

Even though the house was small she managed to fit and run a little shop too. She was quite the independent lady as her husband worked full time in London, returning home twice a year.

In her later years when she retired she kept busy by knitting cheerful, bright woollen jumpers for children affected by war, and refugees. Over the years she knitted hundreds of these jumpers from her living room.

Outside the shop, the Friel and Lawless kids.

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