Good golly, Miss Molly has been tarted up for her new home
THERE was an audible gasp as the tarpaulin was removed. Everybody leaned forward in puzzlement.
Certainly there was something different about Molly Malone – and it wasn't just her new, more salubrious, surroundings on Dublin's Suffolk Street.
Her assets, already considerable, looked, well . . . positively augmented.
The fact that she had spent six weeks under cover between leaving her old home at the bottom of Grafton Street and her grand unveiling yesterday, was a bit of a coincidence – given that that's the normal healing time for plastic surgery.
Molly had been waxed and buffed in a beauty routine that would put Hollywood stars to shame.
There had also been steam-cleaning as well as a bit of welding, confirmed a Luas spokesperson. Surgery, but not as we know it – and her newly polished décolletage was merely catching the light.
Hoicked out of her usual spot at the bottom of Grafton Street in May in order to facilitate the cross-city Luas works, Molly was positioned outside the converted church that houses the Dublin Tourism Office on Suffolk Street.
She will be returning home when the Luas works are complete – estimated at around October 2017.
The new Tourism Minister Paschal Donohue said he was "delighted" to see the statue back on the streets, calling it "a little icon of Dublin".
"It's very appropriate for it to be located outside of the tourism offices," he said.
And as tourists gathered around to snap her picture and locals gave their verdict, it seemed that no adjustment period was necessary.
"Molly's better here," declared Ann Chapman, a Roscommon woman now living in Dublin. "I'm looking at her now and there's more space for her. She looks so different here."
And with Molly now on the route of the 1916 walking tour, guide Lorcan Collins will have to work on building in a piece about her into his talk.
But Pauline Goodwin from Inchicore confessed that she had never liked the statue. "Her clothes are far too fine for someone who was selling cockles and mussels.
"And I hate the way everyone is always hanging off her," she said.