Nellie's Flat

3B, The Iveagh Trust, Patrick Street, Dublin.

The first letting of flat 3B was on 7th April 1904 to Ambrose Dwyer. Four short lettings followed – two terminated by transfers to other flats. The last of these first five tenants, Matthew Mullen vacated the flat on 31st May 1915 and Henry Molloy signed a tenancy agreement on 7th of June 1915.

The Molloy Family

In 1907, Henry and Anne Jane Molloy returned to Ireland from Scotland, and obtained accommodation with the Trust on 30th April of that year, first residing in 4 and 5b, before settling in 3b, a three room flat, from June 1915, at five shillings and sixpence per week. Nellie was born on the 4th October 1907, one of six children – four girls and two boys. Her siblings were Thomas Joseph (born 1905), Mary Catherine (Maisie) born 1909, Anne Jane (Nancy) born 1911, Christina born 1919, and Henry John, born 1921.

Working Life

Thomas, the eldest of the Molloy boys became a fitter & turner while Henry, the youngest, went on to become an electrical engineer and accomplished musician. Nellie herself found work as a weaver with the Greenmount Linen Co. in Harold’s Cross and had 27 years service there, until she left work to look after her sick mother. She was so devoted to her mother, that in the 1940’s she declined an offer of marriage from a disappointed Kilkenny man.

The rest of the family married, and each celebrated the event with a wedding breakfast in the flat. After the breakfast the furniture was pushed back and the hooley commenced. The family was very musical and Nellie herself was known to tinkle the ivories.

The Museum

Nellie’s mother died on 29th October 1967 and Nellie continued to reside in the flat until her own death on 29th October 2002, the 35th anniversary of her mother’s death. Following discussions with the family, Trustees decided that the flat should remain a museum – a visual reminder of flat design and of how families lived in the early days of The Iveagh Trust.

Miranda, Lady Iveagh, kindly donated the funds to purchase the content of the flat from Nellie’s family to enable this to happen. 3B is the only flat in The Iveagh Trust stock which has remained largely unchanged, the bulk of the furniture and fittings having been acquired by the Trust from the family.

On several occasions over the years The Iveagh Trust offered to provide internal bathroom facilities, but while expressing gratitude, after due consideration, Nellie always politely declined. The flat contains a living room and 2 bedrooms (one doubling as a food preparation area). Outside on the landing is a communal sink, w/c, and storage cupboard, used by the family to store coal.

Her nieces felt that by keeping her surroundings as they always had been, Nellie kept her memories of deceased family members very much alive.

The museum flat is currently closed for viewing, however you can have your chance to view this wonderful piece of our history during the Open House Dublin event on the 14th of October. Click here for more details.

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