Obituary of Mrs Mary Malone, followed
by Appreciation, published in The Nationalist and Leinster Times,
- The late Mrs. Mary Malone
The Cumann na mBan Republican Flag, the only one of its kind, was used
for the final time at the funeral last weekend of the last surviving
member of the Carlow / Laois Branch of Cumann na mBan.
The flag was used to drape the coffin of Mrs Mary Malone, formerly of
St. Killian's Crescent, Carlow, who died at the home of her daughter in
Clonmel on Thursday, 6th February at the age of 98 years.
Mrs Malone (nee Bolton of Keelogue, Killeshin) was born in 1899 into a
staunchly republican family. Her brothers, Bill and Dan Bolton, were
interned for their military activities during The Troubles.
In 1914 as nationalist Ireland prepared for war against British rule,
Cumann na mBan (the Women's Army) was formed, Mary Bolton was one of the
first women in the Killeshin area to join.
As a member of Cumann na mBan she served as a courier for the Laois /
Carlow Division of the Irish Republican Army during the 1920s. Following
the signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty in 1921, Mary took the anti-Treaty
side and throughout her long life remained true to her republican
Educated at Killeshin National School, it was there that she met her
future husband, John Malone, who was an active member of the Irish
National Volunteers. The couple married in 1928 following which John
took up an appointment as head attendant at St. Dympna's Hospital,
Carlow. John died in 1986 at the age of 92.
- Sgt. Charlie Parsons of the Band
of the Curragh Command sounds the Last Post over the
Cumann na mBan Republican Flag draping the coffin of
Mary Malone (nee Bolton). Also in the picture are
Councillor Walter Lacey, Chairman of Carlow County
Council, Councillor Jimmy 'Teraza' Murnane and
Councillor Joe McDonald.
- In Loving Memory of
- John Malone
- 21 St. Killian's
- Born 21st Feb. 1894
- Died 23rd May. 1986
- Rest in Peace
Source: Michael Purcell
Her remains were removed from Clonmel for burial to the Holy Cross
Church, Killeshin. The Last Post was sounded by Sergeant Charlie Parsons
of The Curragh Command. At Mrs Malone's own request the Irish Army did
not provide a firing party to shoot over the grave.
The Cumann na mBan Republican Flag was released for the funeral by
special arrangement with the Kilmainham Jail Museum. It was donated to
the museum in 1995 with the proviso that it would be required at a later
stage for a funeral tribute to Mrs Malone.
The flag has strong Carlow connections, having been made in Kilmainham
Jail by women from Carlow during their interment there in 1923. Since
that time it has draped the coffins of republicans.
In a tribute at the graveside in Killeshin Mrs Malone's son, Henry,
recalled that members of the local Cumann na mBan had added a stitch to
the famous flag, thereby it could be said that all members of the local
Cumann, including his own mother although she had not been imprisoned,
had a role in the making of it.
Mr. Malone also recalled the important role of women in the fight for
freedom and in the formation of the new Free State." Their input is
sometimes overlooked" he said " but should be placed in perspective and
valued by future historians. Without their standing shoulder to shoulder
with the men of Ireland we would not be enjoying the fruits of freedom
and justice today".
Mrs. Malone is survived by her sons , Thomas and Henry (USA), daughters,
Marita and Bernadette (USA), Brid and Eilish (Clonmel).
Source: Michael Purcell 2010
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