The great-grandaughter of famed Waterford composer William Vincent Wallace, has spoken of her delight at how her forebearer’s legacy is being sustained in his native city.
Mary Grimes, a native of the US State of Maryland, spoke to The Munster Express about the honour she felt in handing over letters penned by Wallace (to his family) to the Waterford Museum of Treasures.
In what was her first visit to Ireland, Ms Grimes was also civically received by Mayor Mary Roche at City Hall, at where she received a Waterford Crystal memento.
“I’m overwhelmed,” said Ms Grimes.
“It’s been a revelation to me to discover that my great-grandfather is so widely known to this day here in Waterford. To have met so many wonderful people and to have seen my great-grandfather’s bust in the middle of your city is difficult for me to put into words.”
Ms Grimes was tracked down via some detective work undertaken by the ‘Friends of Vincent Wallace’, as committee secretary Maureen Fitzgerald explained.
“My husband Richard found Mary via the internet, which led to this visit,” she said. “It was a fantastic discovery and it’s prompted many new friendships for Mary in her great-grandfather’s native Waterford, which we are all thoroughly delighted about.”
Mrs Fitzgerald added: “To have these wonderfully presented letters back in Waterford represents a tremendous act of generosity on Mary’s behalf, and having met Eamonn McEneaney (Waterford Museum of Treasures Curator), Mary is thrilled that the letters have passed into such expert hands.”
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