Molly Malone is not just a woman in a song – she has also become a major attraction for holidaymakers visiting Dublin.
It’s perhaps not surprising that she has become such an iconic figure.
The song is known all over the world and so is instantly recognisable to tourists who immediately associate it with Dublin. She has become one of the symbols of the city.
With typical Irish humour, Dubliners are a little irreverent to Molly’s statue which they describe as the “tart with the cart.”
And Molly is an intriguing character for people enjoying a holiday or weekend break.
Most tourist guide books describe how she pushed her wheelbarrow through the streets by day, but then turned to a less reputable trade by night.
Legend has it that she offered her services to students at Trinity College.
Also known as “the dolly with the trolley.”
There is virtually no evidence to back up these claims and Molly may not have even been a real person at all.
Nevertheless, the stories have passed into folklore and visitors to Dublin are always intrigued by her and want to know more about her- a point not lost on the people whose job it is to promote Dublin to tourists from all over the world.
They have always been happy to make the most of Molly and spread her story.
Also known as “the dish with the fish.”
In 1988, to mark city’s thousand years as a city, the Dublin Millennium Commission announced that it had found the baptism and burial records of the person it regarded as being the real Molly Malone.
She died on June 13 1699. The Commission duly declared June 13 to be Dublin’s official Molly Malone Day.
Also known as “the trollop with the scallop.”
Sceptics questioned the authenticity of the claims but the Commission was in no doubt.
It commissioned sculptor Jeanne Rynhart to create a statue of Molly and erect it on Grafton Street near the centre of the city.
It’s a highly stylised work showing Molly with full feminine figure and, perhaps with a glance towards her legendary night time occupation, a rather low cut top.
The statue was an instant hit with the thousands of tourists who flock Dublin every week.
They now crowd around her, blocking the pavement as they queue to have their pictures taken. They pose beside her and often put their arms around her shoulder – some of the men are even more forward and let their hands stray.
Also known as “the flirt with the skirt.”
Molly takes it all in her stride as she stares forward implacably, still pushing her wheelbarrow.
And when you see the buzz that she creates, you can’t help but feel that the Millennium Commission pulled off a master stroke when they commissioned the statue and placed it right in the city centre.