Dublin: 14 °C Friday 12 April, 2024
Mammy's Day

Sure, what would we do without the Irish mammy?

11 things only Irish mammies can do right.

You can take the Mammy out of Ireland, but you can’t take the Ireland out of Mammy. This image from December 1929 shows Cork native Bridget Casey with her nine children just as they arrive in New York. The family took the SS Berlin to America and were en route to Bridgeport, Conneticut to join their father and two older siblings. Left to right, in front: Nora (13), Daniel (9), Elizabeth (7), Jane (5), Patrick (4), Celia (11). Left to right, in back: Ellen (17), Bridget Casey, John (16) and Anna (15)

THE IRISH MAMMY is a much-talked about phenomenon.

It doesn’t matter what generation they hail from, if they have a son or daughter in Ireland today, there’s a hint of it about them. And that’s not just the White Linen.

On this special day, we looked at some of the things we’d miss out on if the Irish mammy ceased to exist.

Who else would tell you about the deaths of people you don’t know?

Mammy: Do you know [insert name of deceased person]?
You: [Usually] No.
Mammy: He/she died on Wednesday.

[Longer conversation about the deceased's mother/troubled brother/estranged husband etc.]

Who else would send you such amusing texts?


Who else would make you feel bad about not cleaning your room/making your bed/ironing your clothes?

Did you mother ever visit your rented accommodation and wonder if you had ironed your bedclothes or your towels? No? Just us then.

Who else would tell you fascinating medical facts such as…?

If you sit on a cold step, you’ll get a kidney infection.
If the wind changes, your face will stay like that.
If you eat crusts, you’ll get curly hair.

Who else will keep Barrys and Lyons in business – and locked into that incredible rivalry?

Illness? Grief? Heartbreak? Hangover. A nice cup of Mammy’s brew will fix it.

Who else will make sure you don’t get salmonella?

She’ll have the steak well done.
I broke a tooth on a rasher my mother had cooked once. True story.
If I try to cook anything meat-related for my mother she will hover around the cooking wringing her hands, turning up the heat and telling me “sure that couldn’t be done”, such is her fear of food poisoning. She overcooks everything, and then leaves it on for another ten minutes to be on the safe side.

See also: ‘Al dente’ being the devils work. If it’s not roasted/boiled/baked to death, it’s not edible.

(All stories from anonymous staffers – there shall be no names, no matter how hard the mammies press us)

Who else would teach you the workings of a farm?

“He’s not going to buy the cow if he gets the milk for free.”

Who else could you admonish for still being vaguely (and unintentionally) racist?

See: Mary O’Rourke

Who else would ensure we are appropriately dressed at all times?

Are you wearing that?
Yes. Why? Is it not OK?
No. It’s fine/grand.



That’s nice. What are you wearing ‘over it’?

Who else would ensure everything is ‘aired’?

The house can be aired by opening all and every window, regardless of season or temperature.

Clothes should be aired by being placed in the hot press for at least 24 hours after being taken in from the line, just in case there’s a bit of damp left in them.

And God help whoever puts wet clothes on a radiator.

Who else would plan next Saturday’s meal on Sunday?

Irish mammies are generally obsessed about what to put out for the next meal. During dinner, one can often be heard asking, “What will we have tomorrow?”

In fairness, this is probably because they have to buy, prepare and cook the following meal whilst working outside the home, ironing the towels, ironing the bedsheets, buying you a new cardigan for “over that gold, slippy dress”, texting your brother to make sure he’s alive, making the neighbour a cup of tea and checking
P.S. I love you, Mam.

VIDEO: What are Irish mammies like?

I called my teacher “Mammy”, and other mortifying childhood memories

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