Joy McSweeney (1885-1978) was an English journalist and longtime companion of Evelyn Irons.
Joy McSweeney married and divorced two time before meeting Evelyn Irons at a party in July 1931. Irons left Vita Sackville-West to say with McSweeney. According to Sue Fox, Irons' biographer, "It was love at first sight. [...] Right from the start, they were meant to be together. It was a relaxed, natural relationship."
In 1935, Irons won the Royal Humane Society's Stanhope Gold Medal "for the bravest deed of 1935". She "rescued a woman [Joy McSweeney] from drowning under very courageous circumstances at Tresaith Beach, Cardiganshire." It was the first time the medal had been awarded to a woman.
McSweeney and Irons bought Lodge Hill Cottage, a 16th-century Grade II listed cottage in Medmenham, Buckinghamshire. McSweeney found the cottage in 1935 and pushed Irons to first lease and then buy it. When McSweeney and Irons moved to Brewster, New York, in 1952, they rented the cottage to several tenants, including the American cookbook writer Sylvia Vaughn Thompson. McSweeney and Irons had also a holiday home on Skiathos, Greece.
McSweeney died in 1978.
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