We are very sad to have lost our friend and colleague Laura Meiland. She was a stalwart of the Dingle Bookshop for many years, and became a close friend.
Originally from Noordwijk in the Netherlands, where she ran an educational centre, she came to Ireland for a new start at the end of the 1990’s. Her dream was to run a restaurant, and she duly set up Tigh an Tobair in Ballyferriter which for several years became the favourite watering hole for locals and summer visitors alike.
Like so many who settle in Corca Dhuibhne she had many talents – she was a trained masseuse, had worked in the theatre in Holland, and enjoyed harmony singing. Drama was probably her first love, so she split her time between the Beehive Theatre and the Dingle Bookshop. She was a good bookseller too, putting to excellent use her insistence on speaking her mind. She read widely, which was impressive in someone whose first language wasn’t English, and delighted in sharing with customers her passion for certain authors and books. Many would only accept Laura’s recommendations. Behind an occasionally forbidding façade she had a great sense of humour.
Above all she became a lifelong friend to me and Mike and our respective families. She didn’t socialise much after her retirement, though she had made many friends. Most days we would meet on Béal Bán with our dogs, and the conversations about books continued right up to the end. There is no doubt that she had found her home.
We extend our deepest sympathy to her family, who were all very fond of her, and who because of Covid restrictions were unable to visit during her final days.