Rosie Bell

Lace Maker

Rosie Finnegan-Bell is one of the founding members of the South Armagh Lace Collective and is the current Chairperson of the group. She lives in the townland of Glassdrummonaghy near the villageof Culloville. Rosie is deeply proud of the fact that she  comes from a long line of lace-makers in her family who have lived and worked in the Culloville area of South Armagh for well over 150 years.

She has been making lace for over 15 years and first learned to make lace with local expert Mary McMahon in classes run by the South Armagh Rural Women’s Network in Crossmaglen.

Rosie now teaches the traditional skills of Carrickmacross lace-making at monthly workshops run by The South Armagh Lace Collective in the village of Culloville. In addition, she designs her own patterns and makes bespoke lace pieces under her own label ‘Lace, Love and Forget-me-nots’.

Rosie has had the honour of making two pieces which were presented to President Michael D Higgins and his wife Sabina on his visit to South Armagh in March 2019.

However, Rosie’s abiding lace interest lies in the local lace heritage story itself. She has been researching and collecting lace stories from the locality for over a decade and is committed to telling the largely untold story of lace-making in South Armagh. Rosie has been instrumental in promoting the profile of the South Armagh Lace Collective locally, regionally and nationally.

She has been involved in a series of radio broadcasts with BBC Radio Ulster’s ‘Your place and Mine’ over the course of the past year. She has also delivered presentations on the Lace-making tradition of South Armagh at a number of local events including ‘Celebrating the Women of South Armagh’ and the Michael J Murphy Winter School. She has also recently spoken at the launch of the Atlantic Culturescapes Project in Ti Chulainn, Mullaghbawn to visiting delegates.

Rosie recently delivered an illustrated talk in the prestigious Hunt Museum in Limerick on the tradition of Carrickmacross lace-making in South Armagh which was has also returned from the ‘The Amazing Lace’ Exhibition in Limerick.

Some of their Works