Lady Dunsany dies from Covid-19 as son pays tribute to frontline workers
Lady Dunsany, Maria-Alice De Marsillac Plunkett, has died from Covid-19, her son, Randal Plunkett, announced tonight.
She was wife of the late Edward Plunkett, 20th Lord Dunsany, who died in 2011, and mother of the present Lord, the filmmaker and conservationalist, Randall.
The Brazilian-born architect is also survived by two children from her first marriage, and Randal’s younger brother, Oliver.
Tonight, on his Facebook page, Randal, who is the 21st holder of one of Ireland’s oldest titles, said:
“As many of you already know, my mother Maria-Alice De Marsillac Plunkett, aka Lady D, died today from coronavirus.
“She was an amazing woman, who built magnificent buildings, had amazing stories and touched all who knew her. She was also my best friend and was always pushing me to never accept defeat.”
Lord Dunsany also paid tribute to the frontline workers who looked after his mother in Our Lady’s Hospital, Navan.
He said: “I would like to express my thanks to the people on the front line who cared for my mother and made her last few days comfortable. You are truly the best of us.”
He added: “And I would also like to thank the government (both parties), who I can safely say have really done amazing things and pulled out all the stops to save people in this country. I can say this confidentially from my practical experience having seen more than most what is happening in the background. I would also like to extend a personal thank you to @leovaradkar who my mother admired and would have wanted me to express thanks for his leadership through these tough times.”
“And finally I would like anyone who is religious to pray for Stephen Lourdes who is currently fighting for his own life in hospital with the same condition as my mother. This is truly dark time for our generation and a sad day for me and my family. I know many have tried to contact me directly and I apologise if I take a bit of time to get back to you but I will.”
Lady Dunsany claimed to be a descendant of the explorer Vasco Da Gama and Alves Cabral, the founder of Brazil.
Her father died when she was 17, leaving her with a burning desire to succeed. Soon after his death, she married a Brazilian medic and they had two children.
She went to New York to pursue her career as an architect, but her husband stayed in Brazil, and they divorced soon afterwards.
In New York that she met artist Edward Plunkett, cousin of her first husband. They married and had two children. She remained amicable with her first husband.
Always a dynamic thinker, she patented a new invention and continued to work in architecture.
When the Plunketts came to Dunsany from New York, she opened the Dunsany Home Collection, a high-end homeware boutique, in the castle. However, in later years, her attention was devoted to caring for her husband Edward Plunkett, who had a long-term illness and died in 2011, aged 71.