The Story Behind Star’s First Name

Slievemore Mountain on Achill Island
Photo by Rosemary Lynchehaun, Achill Tourism, http://Achill Island Tourism

Readers often ask where Star’s name came from. Here’s the background story. One summer day during a glorious drive around Achill Island in County Mayo, I stopped at Achill Island Pottery. I purchased a small blue piece of pottery and some jewelry. The earrings and necklace contained a white, milky, stone.

“That’s the Star of Achill,” the woman, in the pottery store, said. She handed a slip of paper to me with the following description: “Star of Achill” Chip of white “Star” from Slievemore. Taken by emigrants in olden days.

The idea that the night before people left their beloved Achill and Ireland, they climbed to the top of Slievemore mountain to take a chip of the white stone with them, immediately intrigued me. At that moment, I named my strong, female, amateur sleuth, Star!

Star’s mother often explained to her young daughter where the name “Star” came from. Star has never forgotten and still cherishes the memories of those times with her mother.

Names of characters are important and often are meant to give meaning to a story. My mother and father both emigrated from Ireland to the United States. My heart ached when I heard the story of people leaving their birthplace with a little bit of stone to remind them of where they came from and where they most probably left their hearts. I hope the readers of my Star O’Brien series also have a similar reaction as you follow Star along her journey.

I’ll save the reason why I chose O’Brien as Star’s last name for another post at another time.

In the meanwhile, keep the luv going.


2 thoughts on “The Story Behind Star’s First Name

  1. Interesting Martha, I’m curious if your parents did the same thing, the white stone that is and if you still have it. What a treasure that would be.

    1. Hi Dottie, no, my parents didn’t do the same thing. They did not come from Achill. But my mom has a ring that her mother gave to her when my mom left Ireland. The ring was handmade by one of my mother’s uncles for his sister (Mom’s mother). The ring is a claddah ring which signifies love, friendship, and loyalty.

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