by ehistoryadmin on October 13, 2018



Passing of Mrs. B. Redmond, T.D.

 Impressive Funeral Tribute

The death occurred at the residence of her mother, Mrs. B.M. Mallick, Athgarvan Lodge, Curragh, of Mrs. Bridget Redmond, who represented Waterford as Fine Gael T.D., for the past nineteen years. Mrs. Redmond had been ill for about six weeks but the announcement of her death on Saturday occasioned very sincere and widespread regret and in Waterford especially the news was received with a great sense of shock.

The late Mrs. Redmond, who was aged 47 years, was the eldest daughter of the late Mr. John Mallick (a well-known figure in business and sporting circles) and widow of the late Capt. William Redmond, D.S.O., T.D., who was the only son of Mr. John Redmond, M.P., Chairman of the Irish Parliamentary Party for many years.

When Capt. Redmond died shortly after his marriage, deceased fought the election in Waterford constituency in 1933 and retained her late husband’s position by an overwhelming majority. Since then she had been returned at every subsequent election. Her first election to the Dáil added a link to the Parliamentary tradition of the Redmond family in Waterford, for a member of the family has represented Waterford in Parliament continually since 1891.

Born in 1905

The late Mrs. Redmond was born in 1905 and educated at the Ursuline Convent, Waterford. In her youth she was an enthusiastic horse-woman and a keen follower to the hounds. This last was but in the natural state of things for she came of a family with a close association to Irish racing, particularly steeple-chasing, her father owning a number of notable horses, the chaser South Green being one which was particularly successful.

‘Pitchforked,’ as it were, into politics on the death of her husband, Mrs. Redmond quickly adapted herself to her new career and brought to it that clear sense of justice and keenness of perception which were features of her life.

To the people of Waterford she came as a stranger but quickly realising her sterling qualities and desire for good, Waterford people accepted her as a truly worthy successor to their lamented Capt. Redmond, and from the beginning gave her the trust and co-operation which had always been a feature of the Redmond tradition.

That she served them faithfully, wisely and to good purpose is reflected in the record of her years in Parliament. It is reflected too in the following telegram sent by General Richard Mulcahy, President of Fine Gael, to her bereaved mother:

‘On behalf of my colleagues in the National Executive and on behalf of the Fine Gael Organisation generally, I desire to offer you and your family our deepest sympathy on the death of Mrs. Redmond. We pay tribute to the courageous and unsparing services given by her to the country and to the constituency for which her husband’s family laboured so steadfastly for many years.’

Unsparing services

Of her ‘courageous and unsparing services’ there can be no doubt, for her small stature and ‘Tiny’ frame (the childhood pet-name Tiny lived through the years) housed a spirit and courage which only death could master.

The extent of her good work in Waterford and Kildare, will perhaps never be fully measured but there are many in both counties who can thank the good offices of the late Mrs. Redmond for something which had helped to ease the burden of life.

It would be idle, too, to attempt to measure the value of her presence in the Dáil. She figured little in the reports of debates but on all sides of the House she was recognised as a most able deputy and one who served her constituents to the maximum.

Her passing is a grievous loss to Waterford, to Kildare and to the country in general. Messages of sympathy from all over Ireland and from overseas reached the sorrowing family, the greater portion of these expressions of sympathy came from Waterford.

Attendances at the removal of the remains (on Sunday) and funeral (on Monday) were exceptionally large. On Sunday the cortege stretched for well over a mile and the roadsides from the Athgarvan residence to Droichead Nua were lined with people.

Dáil and Senate represented

Members of the Dáil, the Senate and all spheres of professional business and social life participated, business premises and private residences were closed and shuttered as the slowly moving cortege passed and the Main street of the town was thronged by hundreds of people, many of whom had travelled miles from outlying districts to participate.

Right Rev. Monsignor W. Miller, P.P., V.F., Droichead Nua, received the remains and officiated at the funeral to St. Conleth’s cemetery on Monday. He was assisted by Very Rev. J. Dunny, P.P., Tinryland, and Very Rev. M. O’Connor, P.P., Mountrath. Other clergy present included Very Rev. Fr. Roche, S.J., Rector Clongoweswood, Very Rev. P.J. Dunlea, Rev. J. Casey, O.P., Droichead Nua, Rev. T. Ryan, C.C., Rev. T. Hughes, C.C.

Alderman E. Lynch and members of the Waterford City Corporation acted as pall bearers.

The chief mourners were:- Mrs. B.M. Mallick (mother), James, John and Thomas (brothers), Mrs. J. O’Neill, Mrs. J. O’Ferrall (sisters), John and Michael Mallick, Jeremiah O’Neill, Johnny Mallick (nephews), Mrs. L.F. Mallick (sister-in-law), Lt.-Colonel J.L. O’Neill, Col. J.G. O’Ferrall (brothers-in-law), Mrs. T. Sex, Miss M. Mallick (aunts), Mr. P.J. Cox, Mr. James Cox, Mr. William Sex, Mr. Jim Sex, Mrs. T.R. Price, Mr. Jas. Sex, Miss Ann Mallick, Mr. Seamus Mallick (cousins). Other relatives included Mr. Redmond Greene and Mr. Maxwell Greene.

Amongst those who attended the removal of the remains were:- An Taoiseach, Mr. E. de Valera; Mr. J.A. Costello, T.D.; Mr. McDunphy, Private Secretary to the President; Mr. J. Dillon, T.D.; Mr. William Norton, T.D.; Mr. Oliver Flanagan, T.D.; Gen. R. Mulcahy, T.D.; Mr. T. Harris, T.D.; Col. P.F. Dinneeen, General Secretary, Fine Gael; General McEoin, T.D.; etc.

(Leinster Leader, May 10, 1952)


Late Mrs. Redmond

 Taoiseach’s Tribute in the Dáil

On the motion of the Taoiseach, the Dáil on Monday, voted sympathy to the relatives of the late Mrs. Bridget Mary Redmond

Mr. de Valera, speaking in Irish before the order of business was taken, said he was sure every Deputy was deeply grieved at the death of Mrs. Redmond who had been a member of the House for 20 years. From the time of her election as a young woman to succeed her husband, the late Capt. Redmond, in 1933, she had taken an active part in the business of the Dáil and had shown a lively interest at all times in public affairs and legislation aimed at the betterment of the country.

By her regular attendance she had given a very good example to the House, and her earnest contributions to debates were always of value. She had been held in high esteem by all parties in the House, and it was keenly regretted that she had not been spared for many more years as a public representative.

The Taoiseach then asked that the Ceann Comhairle convey the sympathy of the Dáil to Mrs. Redmond’s relatives, and the House stood for a moment in silence.

(Irish Examiner, May 7, 1952)


 Presentation to Woman Deputy

To commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Parliamentary representation of the constituency by the Redmond family, the Mayor of Waterford (Alderman T. Lynch) presented Mrs. B.M. Redmond, T.D., with a gold wristlet watch at a Fine Gael dance in the Olympia Ballroom, Waterford. Mrs. Redmond was also presented with a silver-mounted powder bowl by Councillor S. Gavin on behalf of friends of the Irish National Movement in Wexford.

General Mulcahy, T.D., said one thing that ought to be remembered was that the Irish Volunteers were founded in order to defend and safeguard the work of John Redmond and his colleagues in getting the Home Rule Bill passed.

‘We in the Fine Gael organisation,’ said General Mulcahy, ‘have had the privilege of bringing together into co-operative work in the political Ireland of to-day men of every party, creed and class. We were associated with Willie Redmond when he first came to the Dáil, and we are to-day associated with Mrs. Redmond carrying on the tradition of desire for Irish unity.’

The Mayor said that he was very proud to make the token presentation to Mrs. Redmond, who had represented the constituency truly and well since 1933.

Mrs. Redmond, replying, said she had no illusions regarding her own connections with the constituency of Waterford. She realised that it was because of the fact that she had become a member of the Redmond family that she had received such loyal support.

(Irish Independent, January 21, 1952)

Re-typed by Kevin O Kelly

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