One of Dublin’s most famous landmarks is of course the statue of Molly Malone. The statue portrays Molly, a fishmonger, wearing a seventeenth-century dress pushing a wheelbarrow. Check out our guide to Molly Malone, a semi historical and legendary Irish figure.
The famous Molly Malone Statue is located at the end of Grafton Street near Trinity College, around the corner from Saint Andrews Church where she was supposedly baptised. The statue is life size and is made from bronze.
The Molly Malone Statue was inspired by the traditional Irish song “Cockles and Mussels”. As it’s become an anthem for Dubliners, during a Dublin Gaelic match or indeed an Irish rugby game you’re sure to hear the chanting of ” cockles and mussels, alive, alive oh!”. Legend tells us that Molly Malone was a fishmonger (a person who sells fish) on the streets of Dublin in the 1600′s.
The only definite information we know about Molly Malone comes from the lyrics of “Cockles and Mussels”. The lyrics tell us that Molly was an attractive young woman from a fishmonger background, and she sold seafood from her wheelbarrow that she pushed around the streets of Dublin (“she wheeled her wheel barrow through streets broad and narrow crying cockles and mussels, alive, alive oh”). She later died of a fever (“she died of a fever and no one could save her”). Little is known about the composer of the lyrics and it’s uncertain when the song written.
An urban legend has grown up around the figure that Molly was a street hawker by day and part-time prostitute by night. However, there is no evidence that Molly was actually a real woman who lived in the 17th century at all, or at any other time, despite claims from the Church of Ireland that records of her birth and death have been found.
If you’re in and around the city centre you can’t miss the statue of Molly. It’s located at the end of Grafton Street, one of Dublin’s pedestrianised shopping streets. It’s opposite Trinity College and just a stone’s throw from Temple Bar, the cultural and nightlife heart of Dublin.
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