On the death of her aunt, Flora Vere O’Brien, in 1970, Mrs Veronica Rowe discovered amongst her grandmother’s papers, a unique record of an industry which promoted the skill of hand embroidery to the highest standards. This small industry was known as “Clare Embroidery”.
In 1898 the Vere O’Brien family moved to Ballyalla House, and the Clare Embroidery class continued there with some of the Newhall girls still attending, but now joined by a new group of local girls.
An embroidery class was also established at the Convent
of Mercy, Ennis, presided over by Sister Mary Patricia. The designs
and materials were provided at first by Mrs Vere O’Brien, to be
worked up by the girls under Sister Mary Patricia’s direction
in the Convent workroom.
Florence Vere O’Brien was also deeply committed
to the revival of Limerick Lace. She helped to set up the Limerick Lace
Training School in 1889, and took over complete responsibility in 1893.
She continued to run both enterprises for many years. The Limerick Lace
School closed in 1923, but Clare Embroidery continued until the 1930s.