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LAST REMAINING STALL HOLDER AT CURRAGH CAMP DIES

Leinster Leader Jan 18, 1969

Mrs. Mary Burke of Dublin Rd., Kildare who has died after a rather lengthy illness, was the last remaining stall-holder at Curragh Camp and her passing severs a 60-year association with the military establishment. She had operated a stall, under licence from the military authorities since the days of the British Army and for over 60 years had sold fruit and confectionery to the military at a temporary “shop” set up each day in the Barracks.
Relict of the last James Burke, she had been in the business since childhood when she first tended a stall for her mother on the camp. Ill-health forced her to retire some years ago. She was tremendously popular with the troops, particularly with the young recruits; down through the years she developed the facility of getting to know a surprising number of recruits quite well and to a great extent followed their fortunes, by word of mouth, as they progressed through other units of the Army. Generous to a fault, the straight dealing and invariable willingness to “help along” until pay-day, endeared her to the soldiers to such a degree that it became a sort of established code among her customers that Mrs. Burke should never be disappointed or “forgotten” on pay-day.
In her native Kildare, she was well known for her quiet, unassuming generosity, deep religious convictions and general cheerfulness in adversity; her passing is deeply regretted and it is certain that throughout the county soldiers and ex-soldiers who knew her when stationed at the Curragh Camp will pause to reflect, sorrowfully, when they learn of the death of the little old lady who for so many years, in all kinds of weather, was such a familiar cheery figure in the heart of the military establishment.
She is survived by her sons and daughters; interment took place in St. Conleth’s cemetery.

A story from the Leinster Leader, January 18, 1969 on the death of Mr. Mary Burke, Kildare and her 60 years as a stall holder in the Curragh Camp. Retyped by Aisling Dermody.


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