Cork people: The things we love about our mothers...

NICOLA DEPUIS asked people living in Cork what was their mother’s best trait - as we gear up to mark Mother’s Day this Sunday, March 27
Cork people: The things we love about our mothers...

David Wilkins and mom Imelda.

“MY mum, Imelda, passed away in November, 2019, aged 91, and we still miss her dearly, of course. But my abiding memory of her is of enormous tolerance, acceptance, and love.

“Mum and dad always welcomed all their kids’ friends into the house, many of whom came to the house after mum had been baking. They would sometimes be found in the corner of the kitchen with a cuppa, as every other room in the house was occupied.

David Wilkins and mom Imelda.
David Wilkins and mom Imelda.

“When I came out 30 years ago, she was unquestionably supportive, and she treated my partner as her son-in-law from the day they met. She was an absolute gem.”

David Wilkins

“My mom, Betsy Bailey, was such a lady, very talented - classical voice, piano, sewing, any needlework/crochet, cooking/canning. We had such beautiful homemade dresses, keeping up with fashion trends on the tiniest budget.

Many times, she pulled all-nighters, making a gorgeous dress start to finish, then going straight to work at her desk job. I never realised how poor we were because she always found ways to give us what we needed and mostly what we wanted.

She died from AIDS in 1994. My dad gave it to her. He died five years before her. She stood by my dad even after he messed up royally, and faced her own horrific death with such bravery and incredible grace, she never once complained (to me anyway, and I lived with her through to the end in 1994.)

“It was hugely tragic back in the day. They were both well respected in the church and their jobs.

“I admire, love her, and miss her so much. I am the same age now that she was when she died - 53. Too young.”

Nan McSweeney-Bailey

Grainne Irwin and Vera Harding.
Grainne Irwin and Vera Harding.

“Getting a lend of €20 off her and then being told I don’t owe her anything. Legend. Her name is Vera Harding, or V, or nanny or mam… mam… mam… maaaaaamm!!!!!!”

Grainne Irwin

“The speed with which she was able to catch the back of my legs with the damp tea-towel as I legged it up the stairs after back-answering her.”

Sue-Ellen Carroll

“My mother, Ann Collins, was from Mayo. She was shipped to the States at age 15 as an indentured servant to the RC Church. She scrubbed floors for five years in the Main Line of Philly and was given citizenship at age 21 as a reward.

“Then she married my father, the Cork man, and except for me… that was a disaster. So best trait? She never gave up.”

Patrick Cronin

Dara J McGan and mum Josephine.
Dara J McGan and mum Josephine.

“My mum, Josephine, was my rock. The last 15 months of her life were the most special as she was so supportive of my transition.

“Mum’s best trait was her love and ability to care for others which culminated in her ability to love me for me and encourage my transition into the woman I was born to be.

“Mum and Dad adopted me when I was seven weeks old. I am who I am, and mum supported me all the way.

“When mum heard I had been nominated for a Pride of Cork Award because of my openness on transitioning and living with MS, she was so proud,”

Dara J McGann

Tim and Breda Herlihy.
Tim and Breda Herlihy.

“Mam’s cheeky look, and then the smile…”

Tim Herlihy

“I love how, even now, in her late 70s, my mom Neda sometimes acts like a little girl, laughing happily and talking silly.

“And how fit she is, walking up the stairs to her 6th floor apartment with no bother, while I’m behind her breathlessly trying to keep up.”

Mirna Petresevic

Arlene Holeyfield and Karen Underwood.
Arlene Holeyfield and Karen Underwood.

“My mother’s name is Arlene Holeyfield. She passed when she was 56. Her best trait was her ability to love her family unconditionally.”

Karen Underwood

Janet Keating and Angela O'Sullivan.
Janet Keating and Angela O'Sullivan.

“Her name was Angela O’Sullivan, and she had THE best and most infectious laugh. Her laugh was so distinctive, infectious, and happy... everyone knew the ‘laugh’.”

Janet Keating

Joanna Dukkipati and KR reunited in 2021 after two years.
Joanna Dukkipati and KR reunited in 2021 after two years.

“My mom’s name is K. R. Maheswari, and her best trait is her ability for critical thinking.”

Joanna Dukkipati

“She put a lot of creativity into us, doing lots of crafts, creating lots of brain circuits and teaching us how to make something out of nothing.”

Rosalin Blue

Nicola Depuis right, with grandmother Ita, mother Dolores and sister Andrea.
Nicola Depuis right, with grandmother Ita, mother Dolores and sister Andrea.

“My mom, Dolores, is such great fun, and I just love that about her. She is forever making me laugh. She’s a warm, loving person who lights up every room she enters - and she has the best taste in home décor imaginable.”

Nicola Depuis

Sinead Morrissey and Margaret
Sinead Morrissey and Margaret

“My mam, Margaret, died 11 years ago of cancer. She read a lot and always brought me to the library and encouraged me to read too. I now always have a book on the go and read to my young boys at night. Books are so important, and I am eternally grateful to her for that.” Sinead Morrissey

Ber O'Connell and her mum.
Ber O'Connell and her mum.

“My mum’s sense of humour. She also has the ability to make me feel ten feet tall, and always has the most amazing words of encouragement that make me feel like I can take on the world.”

Ber O’ Connell

 Anthony and Ellen Fleming.
 Anthony and Ellen Fleming.

“When I was young, my mother would always be super nice to the rough kids, or even bullies. It used to upset me as I’d have a kid being mean to me, and then my mam being nice to them.

“It’s only now I realise that they were the kids who needed someone to be nice to them the most.

“Looking back, I think - that was cool, especially in an era when most people didn’t give ‘problem’ children the benefit of the doubt.”

Anthony Fleming



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