A special event commemorating the life of former Leitrim TD Mary Reynolds took place in Ballinamore Library on Friday night (30th November).
Part of the Vótail 100 celebrations to mark 100 years since women achieved the right to vote, amongst those present was Mairead McGuinness MEP for Leitrim and first Vice-President of the European Parliament. She said Mary was “a remarkable woman and a true trailblazer – though I expect that is not how she saw herself.
“Celebrating her legacy is incredibly important, as is deepening our understanding and appreciation of how this remarkable woman entered politics, ran a family business and reared a large family, following the untimely death of her husband.
Ms McGuinness said she seemed undaunted by those challenges and embraced public service as Cumann na nGaedheal/Fine Gael TD for Sligo-Leitrim between 1932-1933 and 1937-1961.
“Stoic and above all else true to her constituents – especially those in need, she gave long and dedicated service and is an inspiration to all, especially women.
“Her strength of character, her values and her strong faith are also worth noting,” she said.
When she first became a TD in 1932, Mary Reynolds was one of just two female TDs, the other being her party colleague, Margaret Collins O’Driscoll, whose brother was the late revolutionary Michael Collins.
Mary holds the distinguished record for women winning Dáil elections, being returned in nine of the ten she contested.
Mairead McGuinness said special thanks were due to the Reynolds family, especially her granddaughter Mary McKiernan for organising the event.
And she thanked Ballinamore Library and staff.