Monday 18 February 2019

Geldof: Aunt Mai was 'mega' and always stood up for me

Bob Geldof at the removal of his aunt, dress-maker Mary Eileen Geldof. Photo: Mark Condren
Bob Geldof at the removal of his aunt, dress-maker Mary Eileen Geldof. Photo: Mark Condren
A photo of Mai Geldof on top of the casket. Photo: Mark Condren
Kirsty Blake Knox

Kirsty Blake Knox

Bob Geldof remembered his late aunt Mai Geldof (105) as "a mega woman" who provided him with sanctuary, support and hot cups of Bovril following the sudden death of his mother Evelyn when he was seven years old.

Dressmaker Mary Eileen Geldof - or 'Mai Fifi', as she was known - was the sister of Geldof's late father Bob Senior, who passed away in 2010 aged 95.

Her removal, which took place yesterday in the parish of Our Lady Queen of Peace on Merrion Road, Dublin, was attended by close friends and family members.

"Fifi was really important when my mum died," Bob Geldof told the Irish Independent.

"I would mooch around and wander into her shop on Wicklow Street and she would make me Bovril and take me on dates to the cinema.

"I was the loser and black sheep but she always used to stand up for me when I was doing crap at school.

"She used to say to my uncle and my dad: 'He is going to be a great writer, leave him alone'."

One of Dublin's oldest citizens, Mai Geldof was in her 106th year when she died peacefully at her family home on January 2.

"She was an incredible woman," said niece Jenny Geldof. "She lived most of her life on Sandymount's Strand Road but had so many adventures.

"She was a champion fisher, saw the Nazis march into Austria during WWII, learnt how to drive when she was in her 70s, and referred to her magnifying glass as her 'MI5'."

Ms Geldof worked as a dressmaker on Wicklow Street and in a fitting tribute to her fashion background, her coffin was covered with a bedspread constructed from remnants of fabric from former clients' dresses.

"I used to get plagued by people saying 'Oh your aunty made my mum's wedding dress'," Bob recalled.

Irish Independent

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