My grandmother, Kitty Kelly, (nee Mulligan) was born in Carey’s Row,
She hadn’t a clue where she was going and all she had with her was a suitcase and the name and address, on a piece of string around her neck, of the people who were to meet her and take care of her.
Whatever she imagined was going to happen to her – and what actually happened – were two different stories. She believed she was sent off to better herself and to learn to read and write, but she ended up as a servant to these people.
In 1902 she headed back to
When she arrived in
She asked people if they knew any Mulligans from
Before long she joined her mother and sisters, working in Bessbrook Mill.
After some time she came under the eye of a spinning master in the mill, Matthew Kelly, who decided she was the girl for him.
One Friday after she had finished her shift she entered her own home to find Matthew Kelly, all dressed up, sitting there. Her mother did the formal introductions and informed Kitty that Matthew was to be her husband.
That was that. They were married on 24th April 1906.
My mother told us that years later my grandmother answered a knock on her door. My mother could hear her talking to some man.
When she closed the door she was crying. We often imagined that he was the man she had met on the boat home.
She would not confirm this.
Now, we’ll never know.
… tossed out of the Independent Club …