The mammy of BAFTA-winning Brendan O’Carroll
is credited with introducing female gardai.
The Dublin comic’s late mother inspired his heavy-handed Mrs Brown character — but now it has emerged that she is also
responsible for allowing women to lay down the law on our streets.
In a new RTE documentary, Labour’s Way
, the joker said he was always puzzled at why his TD mother Maureen O’Carroll wasn’t written into Irish school books as she was one of Ireland’s first female TDs.
Incredibly, the school teacher managed to juggle her large brood of children with tirelessly campaigning for Irish women after she was elected as a deputy in 1954. Brendan (56) has said in the past that he based his archetypal Mammy character in Mrs Brown’s Boys on his mum, along with many of the colourful women who sold fruit and vegetables on Dublin’s Moore Street when he was growing up.
And in a new documentary series on the Labour Party, the comedian, who was the youngest in his family, said he has always believed his mother should be recognised for making a mark on the political stage. He said: “She changed an awful lot of laws that were anti-women and anti-children and we never heard about it in school. We never heard a word.”
Labour veteran Barry Desmond said the party was proud to have Mrs O’Carroll, who died in 1984, as their first female TD. He said: “We’re very proud to have the first woman elected a Labour deputy, none other than Brendan O’Carroll’s mother. She was a woman who was hugely prominent on issues of adoption and she pioneered the admission of women to the Garda Siochana. Maureen O’Carroll was exceptional.” Labour’s Way will be shown on RTE One tomorrow night at 9.35pm.