High priestess of Carlow-based ‘Fellowship of Isis’ cult dies, aged 96

Olivia Durdin Robertson lived with her extended family in Huntington Castle in Clonegal, on the Carlow-Wexford border

Olivia Durdin Robertson, the self-styled "high priestess" of a Co Carlow-based cult devoted to an ancient Egyptian goddess, has died aged 96.

Ms Durdin Robertson came to international attention in the 1970s when she co-founded the "Fellowship of Isis" with her late brother Lawrence Alexander Durdin Robertson – a former Anglican clergyman – and his wife Pamela.

Huntington Castle
She lived with her extended family in Huntington Castle in the village of Clonegal on the Carlow-Wexford border.

Her nephew David Durdin Robertson, a craftsman and sculptor who predeceased her in 2009, created an Egyptian temple for her in the dungeons of the castle.


In recent years this has been opened to the public for tours at Halloween.

Alexander Durdin Robertson said his great-aunt had died on Thursday in Wexford General Hospital following a short illness.

Her funeral on Wednesday will begin with "a private ceremony in the temple, organised by the Fellowship of Isis, by invitation only" followed by a public Church of Ireland service at St Fiacc's in Clonegal.

He said the fellowship had “20,000 to 30,000” members worldwide.

A pre-planned auction of architectural salvage items in Huntington Castle scheduled for Monday will go ahead.

Michael Parsons

Michael Parsons

Michael Parsons is a contributor to The Irish Times writing about fine art and antiques