An original Co Derry voice
Frances Molloy (1947 - 1991) was born in Dungiven, Co Derry. After working in a factory and spending some time as a nun Molloy moved to England where she married and settled in Lancaster. Her novel No Mate for the Magpie (1985), remains the most original novel to emerge from the Troubles, not least because of its use of local dialect. A collection of short stories Women Are The Scourge Of The Earth was published in 1998. The writer is survived by her husband Gerard and two children.
'Nearly ivery night, the television studios would be packed full of all the wile big important high up people of the day, sittin’ discussin’ the latest developments, an’ this wee student girl outa Cookstown be the name of Bernadette Devlin, would be sittin’up there beside them all, talkin’ rings roun’ the lot of them.'
Frances Molloy’s debut novel, No Mate for the Magpie, is a tour de force, perhaps one of the most original fictional responses to the Troubles to come out of Northern Ireland. It established her as a witty and ironic storyteller, who was not afraid to use dialect, and could make exquisite use of that most subtle of storytelling devices, the faux-naif narrator. In the novel her intrepid heroine Elizabeth McGlone grows up working class, catholic and female in the Northern Ireland of the sixties and seventies, taking all the bigotry, cruelty and injustice she encounters in her stride.
From Ruth Carr’s introduction to Frances Molloy’s book of short stories: ‘Women are the Scourge of the Earth.’