Kitty McLaughlin

Kitty McLaughlin lived down in Sheriff Street in the little cottages to the front of the Corporation (Dublin City Council) flat complexes that where aliened along Sheriff Street. She is the aunt of May Mac Giolla, wife of Tomás Mac Giolla TD and onetime lord mayor of Dublin. Kitty was well known for her good looks which she put to good use in charming the British troops into parting with their arms which soon found their way to the IRA, from local people who remember the stories of her escapades in hiding men on the run from the British during the war of independents. Dublin port at that time was thronged with troops and munitions coming into Dublin. Along the dockside there was plenty of pubs where the troops would go into.

It was in some of these that Kitty was able to relieve them of their arms when the drink took hold on them. According to the locals Kitty had a great love of everything Irish. When the troubles ended she settled back into her everyday life and lived quite happily in amongst her people in the Sheriff Street area. Sometime in 1970 her little home was broken into and some of her treasured processions were stolen but the guys that robbed her got more than they bargained for they didn’t know Kitty hidden past. Someone tipped off members of the Republican movement and they paid them a visit and soon her treasured processions were soon returned to her and to make things better the guys took turns making sure Kitty had no more trouble.

The area around Sheriff Street was changing not for the better, Kitty moved about a half a mile up the road around North Williams’ Street area to an old folks flats, it was here the her home was broken into and robbed once more. According to a friend of Kitty’s, she was badly beaten up. She never got over that and sadly she passed away. A woman who gave her all in the fight for Irish Freedom, may she rest in peace.

Terry Fagan
North Inner City Folklore Project.