When the “Celtic Tiger” lived in France
Writer-in-residence Autumn 2013
The Princess Grace Irish Library was opened in November 1984 by His Serene Highness The Sovereign Prince Rainier III of Monaco (1923-2005) — as his tribute to the attachment Princess Grace (1929‑1982), his wife, felt for her Irish origins. Operating under the ægis of the Fondation Princesse Grace, the Library is situated in the former family home of the late Countess Brame-Gastaldi, a short walk from the Palace on the Rock of Monaco.
It was during the 1961 State Visit to Ireland that Their Serene Highnesses The Prince and Princess of Monaco visited the two-roomed cottage — overlooking the Leg of Mutton lake at Drimurla in County Mayo — where Princess Grace’s grandfather John Kelly was born in 1847 during the Great Famine. He emigrated to the United States and founded what was to become one of Philadelphia’s leading construction companies.