She too: stop sexually harassing Molly Malone

‘I first laid my hands on sweet Molly Malone’ is not how this song is supposed to go

Show some respect: the Molly Malone statue on Suffolk Street, Dublin. Photograph: Dave Meehan

Show some respect: the Molly Malone statue on Suffolk Street, Dublin. Photograph: Dave Meehan

 

I wish to include the internationally famous fishmonger, Molly Malone, in the current movement against sexual harassment.

On a visit to Dublin recently, I passed by her outside the tourist office in the former St Andrew’s Church on Suffolk Street. There were crowds of people around, everyone straining to get photos. I glanced to see how she was holding up with all the attention and was shocked to witness more than one young man cup her breasts and laugh suggestively, looking out at his large audience for reaction.

She represents a young woman who may or may not have existed during the 17th century or Victorian times. Many other statues adorn our capital city’s streets, James Joyce (North Earl Street), Oscar Wilde (Merrion Square), Wolfe Tone (corner of St Stephen’s Green and Hume Street), to mention a few.

Yes, allow for romanticism encouraged by the song Molly Malone but do not for one minute think that this should give anyone permission to grab a breast or two

Can you imagine anyone fondling these statues? Groping them in any way? Absolutely not. So why should our “enigmatic heroine” as she has often been described, have to be subjected to undignified and disrespectful attention?

The sculpture by Jeanne Rynhart was commissioned 25 years ago to mark the city’s millennium. It is understood that the ample bosoms are an interpretation of another profession that Molly had to resort to apart from selling her cockles and mussels, that of prostitution. Her birth, her existence, is sometimes debated; nevertheless she is a representation of women, regardless of century, who led impoverished lives.

Yes, allow for romanticism encouraged by the song Molly Malone but do not for one minute think that this should give anyone permission to grab a breast or two. This lack of respect for me is on the same level as allowing Hugh Hefner of Playboy magazine to stash his ashes near the vulnerable and preyed-upon Marilyn Monroe.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.