Sally and the Way She Might Look at You

Sally and the Way She Might Look at You

Thirty years ago, were you to walk down Thorncastle Street or perhaps wander up Bridge Street, there would be a woman, standing in the corner, staring at you.

She’s trying to remember what newspaper you read. For she is Sally Dwyer, beloved by all for bringing the daily news to Ringsend.

Born to Annie and Thomas Murphy at 20 Bridge Street in 1914 above what is now the Good View Chinese. When she married she lived with her family, children June and Paddy, in O’Rahilly House, on Thorncastle Street. June remains a proud Ringsend resident though Paddy has moved to the United States. Sally’s grandchildren are Sophie and Sally Ann and it’s endearing to know that her name continues on in the family.

The Wine Boutique is now located on the corner of Thorncastle Street and Bridge Street, where this picture was taken. That was Sally’s spot at the old post office. In Sally’s time the corner was locally known as Malone’s Corner, as there was also a shop there called Malone’s Grocer.

Each morning the latest editions of the newspapers were delivered in vans at around 6am. Sally was always at the corner waiting for them. She took the papers and loaded them onto her pram which held her entire stock, each morning and evening. She was so reliable and in rain, hail or shine, Sally made sure you got your paper seven days a week. On Sunday mornings she moved across the road to be outside St. Patrick’s Church to meet you coming out of Mass.

She is remembered as a jolly woman, ready to have a laugh, with a generous heart, often buying presents for others even when she was short of cash herself. But the one thing everyone says of her is that she was a hard worker. Local boys, such as Ger Whelan and his two brothers Paddy and Joey worked for Sally. They delivered newspapers to people’s homes and at the end of the week collected the payments for the papers.

When Sally passed, her children June and Paddy took over the newspaper selling. The business was then sold to a man from Raheny but within months trading ceased. People could then get their newspapers in a shop, where it did not get wet in the rain. So sadly, trade for the newspaper sellers on the street diminished.

Sally is the lady in the foreground on the right wearing a headscarf. The lady behind her, also wearing a headscarf, is Eva Ferrari. She is Victor’s wife from Ferrari’s Chipper. They were Sally’s neighbours in O’Rahilly House. The man on the left in the denim jacket is Paul Johnston. The lady beside Eva is either Bella Barry, who was a clerk in St. Patrick’s Church for about 37 years, or Mrs. Driver, Cecil’s wife, who was a barber on Thorncastle St or Ellen Purdy. So if you can help us clarify this, please get in touch by calling NewsFour on 6673317.

The headlines in the photo mention Wilson. This could be Harold Wilson, who was the British Prime Minister from 1964 to 1970, and then again from 1974 to 1976. Another headline mentions hijackers, there were numerous hijackings in the mid 1970s. Based on these two clues, it is a guess that this is when the photograph was taken.

By Tracy O’Brien