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Preserving Irish Heritage: Mucros Weavers

by Ward Gahan
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Preserving Irish Heritage: Mucros Weavers

Preserving Irish Heritage: Mucros Weavers 

Mucros Weavers was formed out of a conscious movement to develop and promote traditional Irish crafts, like weaving. Located at the Muckross House on the grounds of Killarney National Park, Mucros Weavers draws upon the magnificent scenery to inspire its designs, which are created under the eye of Master Weaver, John Cahill. 

John Cahill’s story is unique. He started working at Muckross House as an intern. More than 30 years later, he’s still there, promoting the business with the same excitement he had when he started in his youth. When we visited Mucros Weavers after Showcase Ireland 2020 in January, John offered to give us a tour of the Muckross House and tell us about some of the history within the walls of this beautiful mansion.

The Muckross Estate dates back to the 17th Century when the Herbert family, who were originally from Wales, came to settle in Killarney. The house is situated on the Eastern shore of Muckross Lake and features amazing views of the 1,300 acres surrounding the mansion. After the Herbert family faced financial difficulties, the house changed ownership a few times. It had once been in the Guinness family before finally being sold to a man from California, Mr. William Bowers Bourn, in 1911. Mr. Bourn gave the estate to his daughter, Maud, as a wedding present. When she died in 1929, the house and property were deeded to the Irish Free State and became Ireland’s first National Park in 1932. The home itself remained closed for quite some time until a group came together and formed the Trustees of Muckross House. They proposed that the house be opened to the public as part of the Killarney National Park. The proposal was approved and a partnership between the Trustees and the state remains in place today.

The trust was formed to preserve the history and folklife in Co. Kerry. One of the legendary crafts worth preserving is that of weaving. From their small beginnings, Mucros Weavers has grown to produce high quality woven goods in the form of caps, scarves, purses, wallets and more. You’ll see the beautiful hues of their natural surroundings included in their color palette. At this Ireland’s Showcase 2020, John, Paul and their crew won the prestigious supplier of the year award. Not only do we partner with them for their high-quality woven goods, we enjoy doing business with them as individuals. We are proud to work with an organization that is dedicated to keeping the heritage and artisan crafts from Ireland alive today. Team Mucros, congratulations on your award!

In celebration of Irish American Heritage Month throughout March we’ve created the Mucros Collection of fine Irish woven products. And you know, you don’t have to be Irish to have good taste, so regardless of your roots, check out the latest goods from Ireland.

 

by Ward Gahan

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