The death notice that appeared in yesterday’s Irish Examiner was spare and to the point — a bit like the deceased herself.
It reads: "Pochin Mould (Aherla). On April 29, 2014, after a short illness, Daphne Desiree Charlotte, PhD. Body donated to UCC. Rest in peace."
The absence of unnecessary embellishment was typical of Daphne, yet it belies the complexity of a woman whose long and eventful life saw her journey from her birthplace in 1920 in England to Ireland, settling in Aherla, Co Cork.
She also undertook a spiritual journey, from high Anglicanism to agnosticism to devout Catholicism, with a sense of wonder she had exhibited since childhood.
Her spirit of adventure and intellectual curiosity was always evident. !
The tomboy in Daphne lead her to a lifelong interest in mechanics and flying, as well as archaeology, among other varied disciplines.
She studied geology in Edinburgh, receiving a PhD from Edinburgh University in 1946.
Daphne was a photographer, broadcaster, geologist, pilot and Ireland’s first female flight instructor.
She was an accomplished aerial photographer but most of all, she was a writer and a frequent contributor to the Irish Examiner.
She was, to say the least, prolific as well as informed. She wrote more than two dozen published books, many of them now out of print. A single copy of her 1997 book, =Aran Islands is currently on sale online for almost $2,000.