In 1994 she gave up singing and in 1996 she accompanied her husband to work in Africa, first in Kenya and later in Tanzania.
Their beautiful thatched cottage, 'Rivendell', home since 1980, awaited their return. Originally built in 1667, this rare snow photo was taken 8/2/2007. They also spend time in Spain and on the Aran Islands, husband Padraig's home ground.
The six years in Africa gave Mary a new perspective and inspiration for life.
She worked with street children in Nairobi, stayed with a Maasai family in the bush and helped AIDs children in Dar es Salaam.
Seen here camping with her husband Pat and some of his students ‘on a dig’ at the famous Olorgesailie archaeological site in Kenya.
Sydney, Australia, 2004 – with the cast of Harp on the Willow, John Misto’s play based on Mary’s (1980) autobiography, The Scent of the Roses.
Anna Crawford (2nd from left) and Marina Prior (4th from left) played Mary. Christopher Stollery and Julie Hudspeth played other characters.
It played to sold-out audiences in Sydney for three months, followed by a month at the Comedy Theatre in Melbourne in 2007. In Melbourne, opera singer Joan Carden played the abbess of Stanbrook while Lucy Maunder played the young Mary O'Hara and Marina Prior again played Sister Miriam.