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Death of pioneering West Cork cheesemaker Veronica Steele

Friday, 6th January, 2017 9:20am

Story by Con Downing
Death of pioneering West Cork cheesemaker Veronica Steele

The late Veronica Steele of Milleens, Eyeries, Beara.

Tributes have been pouring in following the death of pioneering artisan cheesemaker Veronica Steele, who created the award-winning Milleens cheese with her husband, Norman, and family.

Veronica (née Barron) of Milleens, Eyeries, Beara, died at Bantry General Hospital on Wednesday, January 4th following an illness bravely borne with the support of the matron and staff of Castletownbere Community Hospital. She described herself on her Twitter account as a ‘cheesemaker, philosopher, leaper and humanist.’

Food guide writers John and Sally McKenna said: ‘We have lost a dear friend and Irish food has lost its first champion.’

Bill King said he was saddened by the death of Veronica Steele, ‘the creator of Milleens cheese and one of the women who started the Irish food revolution.’

Ruth Healy of Urru Culinary Store in Bandon, remembering Veronica Steele, ‘her beautiful family and her creations,’ described her as ‘the grand dame of Irish cheesemaking’ and ‘a woman who understood the art of living.’

Elizabeth Ryan said: ‘There's a gap in the world now and not just in the cheese world. Veronica Steele, creator of Milleens, was in all senses a hero.’

Veronica is survived by her husband Norman, children Susan, Jenny, Kate and Quinlan, sons-in-law John and Stephen, daughter-in-law Deirdre, her 11 grandchildren, brothers and sisters-in-law, nephews, nieces, relatives and friends.

Her remains will be reposing at Harrington’s Funeral Home, Castletownbere, this Sunday (8th) from 4 to 6.30pm and funeral will be on Monday, January 9th, at 12.30pm in the Island Crematorium, Ringaskiddy, Cork. No flowers by request, donations if desired to Multiple System Atrophy Awareness (www.MSAawareness.org)