M. J. Molloy

International Playwright

Playwright MJ Molloy
Milltown Heritage Group
Milltown Heritage Group

MJ Molloy (Michael Joseph) Molloy, famous dramatist was born in Milltown, County Galway on the 3rd March 1914. This year marks the centenary of his birth. His birth year is often recorded as 1917 as he liked to pretend to be three years younger than he was. He was the fifth of eight children born to William Molloy and Maria Tucker.


He was educated at St Jarlath’s college, Tuam. After his studies there, he entered the Columban seminary at Dalgin Park, Shrule to study for the priesthood. When he had studied there for three years he contracted tuberculosis and this resulted in having to abandon his studies in Dalgin. During his convalescence he spent time in Dublin and visited the Abbey Theatre regularly. Thus began his interest and love of the theatre.


He returned to Milltown and began writing. He also farmed there until 1973. His first play, Old Road was produced in The Abbey Theatre in 1943. His plays were based on his own experiences of rural life, visiting houses and his love of folklore. After Old Road, came many notable plays including The Visiting House, The King of Friday’s Men, The Wood of the Whispering, The Paddy Pedlar, Daughter from over the Water and The Bachelor’s Daughter. The King of Friday’s Men was performed in London and New York.

MJ Molloy was a member of Aosdana and won the Irish Arts Council Award in 1972. MJ Molloy died in 1994 aged 80 years. He will always be remembered for his invaluable contribution to the literary and theatre world.

This page was added on 10/09/2014.

Comments about this page

  • I knew Mr. Molloy when I was a young girl. He used to visit my grandmother (Bridget Turner) at her beautiful thatched cottage on the corner of the Ballindine/Tuam Road and the road that led to the railway station. I remember meeting him several times when my brother & I would come on the train from Claremorris where we lived with groceries for her. I lived a couple of door’s away from his uncles (Badly Bent?. that’s what he was called because he was deaf from a riding accident and his brother Sunny Tucker (don’t know if that was his real name but that’s what my parent’s called him. They had a public house next to the Bank of Ireland on James St., Claremorris. I knew he was a playwright but I was a pre-teen and didn’t have any other information about him. I seem to remember that he had a lame leg. My family & I live in Los Angeles and my brother & his family live in London.

    By Nuala Kavanagh( nee: Donlon) (28/10/2016)

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