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'Elmo's ma' keeps city's homeless fed


Laurence and Mary Kinlan

Laurence and Mary Kinlan

Laurence Kinlan

Laurence Kinlan


Laurence and Mary Kinlan

While Love/Hate's Elmo is out wreaking havoc on the streets of Dublin, the mother of the actor who plays him is feeding the city's homeless.

"If you can't do a good turn, don't do a bad one is what I live by," said Mary Kinlan, who prepares food two nights a week for people sleeping rough.

"I just want to help in any way I can. I make up to 200 sandwiches a night, but I have a sidekick, Liz Mulgrew."

Unlike her 31-year-old son Laurence Kinlan, who makes a living by playing a criminal, 'Elmo's ma' is retired and has spent her free time volunteering with Inner City Helping Homeless since it was launched last November.

"Laurence thinks it's great, though he did say to me at first, 'Ma, have you not got enough to do?'" said Mary.

"But he knows better than to try to stop me.

Mary is very proud of her son. "He was in Belvedere Youth Club after school and they were looking for extras for a film and he ended up getting the lead part in a Channel 4 film, Soft Sand, Blue Sea.

"He was able to take Christy Brown off to a tee. His grandfather used to say, 'There's an Abbey actor'. But his grandfather and his father never got to see him act."


Mary's husband died in 1996 at the age of 41 when her four sons were aged from five to 16.

"It's not easy rearing four boys, but I wouldn't give anyone advice because every family loves in their own way," she told the Herald.

Mary's modesty extends to her charity work, which she says is a "privilege".