Molly Malone

Fishmonger Molly Malone A Real Person or Not?

In 1993, Sean Murphy composed a song “Molly Malone, in the album summer, volume 1. The song was about an Irish woman named Molly Malone, claimed to be a real person lived in Ireland in the 18th and 19th century. Many people searched from then to now if the women has been really a person or just a fictional character, created by an artist. Let’s do some research and find out the truth behind it like if the Fishmonger Molly was a Real Person or Not!


We have got many evidences to prove the identity of Molly Malone as a real person and not the fictional character. Let’s cross-examine these suspects and extract some facts about the mysterious lady to be human or fiction.

1.    The Song:

·        Lyrics and Meaning

First suspect we have here is the song by Sean Murphy. In the lyrics, he talks about the entire life of a girl named Molly Malone, known for being a fishmonger. The song starts from talking about all the girls of Dublin city, famous for being pretty yet the Molly Malone attracts the poet-come-singer most due to her divine beauty and accountable attitude.

He talks about the day he saw Molly Malones for the first time when she was wheeling her cart with fishes all over through the streets of Dublin. He talks about her journey on the way when she was pushing her wheel-barrow all across the narrow and broad streets. He speaks about the cockles and muscles and other fishes Molly had on her cart, singing Alive’ O Alive O’.

In next lines, the singer sings and poet writes about her family; his father and mother who were also fishmongers.  They also used to pull and push their carts through the narrow and broad streets of Dublin while selling their cockles and muscles.

In the end, the poet speaks about the death of famous character Molly Malones. He said that the fishmonger died because of a fever and despite of tries by doctors and physicists, Molly couldn’t be saved. But her story goes and goes on as now her ghost pushes the cart ad take through the narrow and broader streets of Dublin.

·        Suspects:

In the light of these lyrics, if we try to find out suspects about the existence of Molly Malones in the Dublin in late 18th and early 19th century, we find a big story. It feels like the writer has seen the girl with his own eyes, his parents, and later his ghost pushing and pulling the cart through the Irish Chapel Street.

However, we have got many evidences where artists such as poets, singers, and writers exaggerate about the existence of a person in their imaginations who have nothing to do with the real life.

·        Result:

From the lyrics, it feels like the person has seen Molly Malone, her parents, and her ghost pulling the cart yet they died years ago when the singer was even born. Moreover, he cannot see the era of Molly and her ancestors at the same time. So, we can conclude that this evidence is not real and is a mare reflection of imagination.

2.    The Statue:

Another evidence we have here that we can use as a suspect in figuring out if the Molly Malones was a real girl or just an imaginary character, is her statue.  Let’s cross examine this evidence and find out results to be correct or wrong regarding real existence of Molly Malones as a real human being in the Irish city of Dublin.

·        Dress and Appearance:

A brown colored statue of a women-come-girl is placed on the Grafton Street that’s situated nearby the St. Andrew’s Church. In the statue, a women can be seen with a cart on which several baskets are placed. The statue has one leg in the position of walking yet it is gripping the wheel-barrow handles and looks like the cart is being pulled. In the statue, Molly Malone is dressed according to the fashion of 17th century. Her hairstyle also belongs to the same era.

·        Suspects:

The Molly Malone, though claimed to be a real character from late 18th century to the early nineteenth century, however her very statue publicized in 1988, during the day of Dublin Millennium celebration. In 1988, Irish authorities declared the 13th June’s day as a Molly Malones day. The girl is wearing 18th century dress, pulling a cart with baskets having cockles and muscles insides.

·        Result:

Well, Molly lived long back since her statue was made and we have also found no evidences if the girl in statue is real Molly Malones or Molly Malone is real. The statue has been built too late and the day of celebration for remembering Molly Malone has also been introduced quite later from the reported death of Molly Malone. What if an eccentric artist has made this statue and later called it Molly Malone without any evidence? By this, we cannot confirm the existence of Molly Malone yet we cannot deny it completely because there would be something behind the scene that encouraged the artist to make this statue. But why so late???

3.    Birth Certificate and Baptism:

Baptism is the official and religious event of Christian faith in which they gather in the church and ask Saints and fathers to suggest the name of the newborn. It used to be an official ceremony and every kid in the area is named like this. Let’s evaluate the suspects form this evidence.

·        Records of Baptism:

Molly Malones record of baptism have also found in the St. Andrew’s Church in which a girl is registered with the name of Molly Malone. However, there has also been found another record from St. John’s church regarding the baptism of a girl Molly Malone. According to the records of St. John’s church, Molly was registered for baptism on 27 July 1663 that’s also recorded to be her birth date. This church was located on the Fishamble Street where Molly’s statue is standing. However, the church was demolished in the last century and records went into St. Andrew’s church.

·        Suspects:

As there is a name registered along with date of birth in the historical records of the St. Andrew and St. John’s church so we can recall that such evidences cannot be false. Who would go this back and create the story of a girl along with fake baptism?

·        Result:

We can take the evidence from this suspect that may be Molly Malone really existed in the 18th century. However, as there would be many girls named as Molly Malones at that time, how can we find if it is the same person who died with fever? Moreover, we don’t find any evidence regarding the name of the parents of Molly who were also fishmongers. Hence, the confusion remains there.

4.    Death Record and Grave:

Fourth evidence we have here is the death records in the church chronical and the grave of Molly Malone that really exists in the graveyard. Let’s cross examine this very evidence and move one step closer to the truth if Fishmonger Molly Malone a Real Person or Not.

·        Molly Malones Grave:

A grave named after Molly Malone has been found in the ancient cemetery of St. John’s church, the very church in which records of baptism of Marry Malone were found. You can even google the church name and the Molly’s grave and you will found a grave with tombstone of Marry Malone. However, at the tombstone two more names are written that are Thomas Basil Malone 1885 to 1957, Mary Myrtle Malone 1893 to 1979, and Molly Malone Finger 1924 to 1983.

·        Suspects:

To suspect, if we look at the church records placed in the St. John church chronicles, Molly was born in on 27 July in 1663 and died on 13 June 1699, the date is far older than the date written at the tombstone of the cemetery.

·        Results:

Well, as the date on the tombstone and date of the church chronicles vary and there are century’s differences between both, how one can conclude both things to be belonging from same person? Secondly, how can we say that dates of death written in church and on tombstone is of real Molly Malone who was a fishmonger? The confusion is still here and require more evidences to answer the question if fishmonger Molly Malone was a real person or not.

5.    Cause of Death:

As we cannot find the actual evidence against or towards the existence of Molly Malones as real human or a fictional character, we need to dig a bit more to find the results. Here we will examine the cause of death which has been bragged to be the fever. So, let’s evaluate that:

·        Molly Malone Died With Typhoid Fever:

We have found a suspected date of Molly’s burial to be held on 1734. The date has been extracted from an alleged chronical that belong to an unsuccessful campaign against some destructions. However, these chronicles are claimed to be false and just a lie made to save the fake bragging of St. John church.

·        Suspects:

A visiting American officer of an academy suggested that maybe Molly Malone’s death was caused by typhoid fever. He further added that she would have consumed the infected cockles and mussels obtained from Dublin bay that became reason of typhoid first and later death. This is the story, bragged in the millennium celebrations of Dublin when the Molly’s day was introduced however the festival itself has doubts.

·        Results:

Molly’s burial in the different chronicles is different according to dates and we cannot justify the existence of Molly Malone just because of the finding of an American academic who found the cause of death of Molly Malones.

Findings from the Evidences:

We examined and evaluated results from top suspects or evidences regarding the existence of Molly Malones. Before offering you conclusion and results of the research, let me review the findings we made on the way. Here are the findings related to the case if Fishmonger Molly Malone a Real Person or Not:

“First of all, we listened and examined the famous Molly Malone song by Sean Murphy. We found that the poet and singer has been born after many years of the death of Molly. Yet, we don’t have any book about Molly. “Hence the lyrics look mare imagination.”

“Secondly, we tried to examine the statue, its building, and it’s placement on the Fishamble Street. Well, the placement has been done so many years later when the Molly allegedly died because of fever. We couldn’t figure out if the statue is real as it can be mare imagination too”.

“Baptism has been found to be the real one as there we find the name of Molly Malone being registered. However, we could not figure out if the name in the chronicle really belongs to Molly Malones whose statue is situated on the streets of Ireland.”

“Death records in the church chronicles and on tombstone vary too much from each other and hence this evidence is also rejected due to being false. Because, it feels like the person in the records of church is some else Molly while the person in the grave is someone else.”

“Lastly, we have examined the cause of death that’s known to be typhoid fever as the Molly had eaten infected cockles and mussels. However, the cause of death has found many years later by an American academic that also feels nothing but just a manipulated and imagined fact.”


From all of this, we could not find any clear evidences about the existence of Molly Malones. This is because, if one proof comes in the favor of her existence the other one comes against. Therefore, birth, death, and cause of death associated with Molly Malones looks nothing but an imaginary story that politicians and other authorities created to save their rights and keep civilians’ eyes away from the actual matters.