Midwife Mary Ellen Coppinger

Interview with her daughter Mary Dolan from Moylough.

Emma Laffey

Midwife Mary Ellen Coppinger, Moylough, Co.  Galway

Mary Ellen Coppinger was born Mary Ellen Connelly on 10th November 1919 at Brierfield, Abbeyknockmoy. Mary Ellen sat her exams in 1938, went to England in 1942 to train to be a nurse and midwife before returning and taking up a community midwife post at home in Moylough where she served her community for over 30 years. She met and married Willie Coppinger and they, and their family, ran a successful and very diverse business in Moylough that included a drapery, footwear, gas appliance, public house and other enterprises also. Over time the business has evolved and today is a very successful home furnishing enterprise.

Mary Ellen cycled her bike through every byway of the hinterland and delivered all of her babies at home. Where a baby needed extra medical treatment they were often sent to Tuam Hospital in a little shoebox. She also attended to the needs of traveller community women for their births. When their time was nearing the traveller family would camp up in an area known as “Black Corner”, in Cloonoran near Moylough.

Mary Ellen was approached by Mary Mannion from Moylough Social Services to write an article on her life and times as a midwife and this invaluable contribution is contained the book, In a Lifetime.

Mary Ellen is fondly remembered by her community and passed away on 19th December 2010 at the great age of 91.

To read more on Mary Ellen’s story you can read in the An Bhean Ghlúine ebook on the website. To hear Mary Ellen’s daughter, Mary Dolan, chatting with Emma Laffey for the An Bhean Ghlúine Project click on the link in the gallery.


Midwife Mary Ellen Coppinger
This page was added on 21/07/2022.

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