Muriel has carried many names throughout the decades, and while all of them deserve recognition for the transitions they've provided along her life's journey, the mantle she proudly carries nowadays is that of Hollybarrow.
She was born Muirgheal MacDermott in 1905, the only daughter of two non-magical parents residing on a small plot of land outside Dublin. At nine years old, perhaps a bit late compared to other wizards and witches, her magical abilities revealed themselves in a particularly sudden and fruitful garden - one that the MacDermott family hadn't planted for. As the next couple years passed, they were drawn into the country's political affairs. Unrest and revolution motivated the Irish against the United Kingdom and, though they were only indirectly related to some of the Easter Uprising leaders, and not at all involved in the violence, Domhnall MacDermott fell victim to execution in April, 1916. Muirgheal and her mother, Brigid, managed to escape to America.
Brigid dropped the surname prefix and Muirgheal spelled her name more recognizably as Muriel, so the two would fit in better among the Americans of Boston, Massachusettes. Muriel Dermott attended Salem School of Witchcraft and Wizardry until she turned 15 years old while her mother lived with a wealthy American family in exchange for housekeeping and kitchen services. In 1920, her mother took ill and Muriel, always a dependable child, left school to provide her care. It was difficult living as Muriel worked in Brigid's stead while trying to keep her mother comfortable in a tight, unpleasant quarters. Two years hence, Brigid Dermott passed away, leaving Muriel on her own.
For the next phase of her life, Muriel moved to the Windy City and was swept away by the Roarin' Twenties. Here she forgot her worries for many years, engaged in the everlasting backroom party in prohibition era Chicago. The party lasted until 1929, when Muriel met the love of her life, Johnathan, who by some twist of fate was a member of a small neo-pagan coven. For a year and a day, Muriel learned from the coven's High Priestess a more earthly form of magic than the spells taught to hereditary witches at magical schools. The Irish witch was initiated into the Brightshadow Coven at the conclusion of her mentorship, and was particularly skilled in rituals involving purification, divination and conjuration.
On the same day of her initiation in 1930, her name changed again to Muriel Sinclair in a pagan hand-fasting. For the next twenty years, she and Johnathan practiced traditional magic and created two beautiful children. Johnathan lived long enough to see grandchildren born to each of them before his life was taken in a tragic car accident in 1951.
Struck by grief, Muriel left her coven - passing her High Priestess position of six years to her daughter - and returned to her homeland in search of solitude and internal peace. Despite the suspicion and wariness of the people there, she settled down in a village called Bhearú O'Cuileann, colloquially known as Hollybarrow, because her readings of fate told her to stay. Eventually the people there came to acknowledge her as an asset, appreciating the strange things that happened at her hand because they usually defied reason in the benefit of someone's farm, newborn or readings of the future. She took on an apprentice during this time, the youngest son of a local farmer, who early absorbed all the information he could about herbs, crystals, elementals, homeopathic medicine and other useful skills.
She lived in peace there until, motivated by a dream in 1960, Muriel began correspondence with witches and wizards in London and at Hogwarts, seeing her path was to take a turn once more.