Sunday 18 February 2018

Stallholders bid a final farewell to Queen of Moore Street

Hannah Popham

SHE was born there and worked there all her life.

Now the 'Queen of Moore Street' has made her final journey through the iconic Dublin street market.

Moore Street came to a rare halt as the funeral cortege of Mary 'May' Kavanagh moved slowly down the thoroughfare famous for its boisterous fruit, vegetable and fish sellers.

Mrs Kavanagh (92) worked at a fish stall on the street where she was born for over 80 years.

She first started helping out on the stall at the age of seven, took it over at age 22, and worked on it past her 88th birthday.

The cortege passed the empty stall she once ran, which yesterday bore a wreath spelling out her nickname 'May'.

Mrs Kavanagh died peacefully on Thursday last at the Mater Hospital surrounded by family. She is survived by sons Sean and Thomas and her daughter Margie, son-in-law, daughters-in-law, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Special permission was given by council officials to allow the cortege down the street where she worked.

Friends, family and fellow traders gathered around her old stall, holding white and yellow roses which they then threw on the roof of the hearse. Next to her coffin lay a sketched portrait of Mary and a wreath made of white daisies, reading 'Mammy'.

The procession then stopped halfway up Moore Street, at the very site where Mary was born, as a musician played Molly Malone and other traditional Dublin songs on the uileann pipes.

Imelda Farrelly, a friend of May's, said the fish stall owner was "very hardworking".

Next-door neighbour David Keane said, "She was priceless; a beautiful woman who was always surrounded by family."

Mrs Kavanagh's funeral follows the death of another Moore Street legend Mary Manley, who died last Monday, and marks the end of a generation of real life Molly Malones who have worked selling fruit and fish on the Dublin street.

Andy Kavanagh, a grandson of May's, said: "She was part of the history of the place."

The funeral Mass, in St Saviour's Church, Dominick Street, was followed by her burial in Glasnevin Cemetary.

Irish Independent

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