limerick about mary malone

Tuesday evening and it's business as usual at the Spa Hotel in Lucan. A weary truck driver checks in at reception; a young couple are directed to a table in the restaurant; the lounge's clientele enjoy a drink after a long day's work. For Mary Malone, the night's work is only beginning. Up to 80 people are gathered in a nearby function room to meet the Galway woman who claims to have the gift of healing. This is the third group meeting today.
The previous week, Mary appeared twice on RTE's afternoon programme, PM Live. Not many guests are invited on twice in one week, but such was the impression she made. Comments producer David Donaghy: 'When Mary came on the show on Tuesday, we received over 1,000 phone calls and the switch board was completely jammed. The response was absolutely amazing and we decided to bring her back on Friday."
It's many years since Mary left her home at Mountbellew, Co Galway, for America and then England, but she has not lost her soft western lilt. She was born Mary Barrett and married Malcolm Vickers from Lancashire, England. She has since changed her name to the ancestral one of Malone. She's back in Ireland for two-and-a-half years now, and is not sure how long more she'll be staying. "I leave it in a very simple way and 1 never know from day to day what's going to happen next . . . I wait for the Blessed Mother to tell me what she wants."
Sixteen years ago, Mary started out on a rosary crusade. She left England with her husband Malcolm, having sold their printing business and their home, and travelled to South Africa. "It was just a feeling I got that that was where to go."
After spending two years in South Africa, she says she had a dream indicating she should combine her rosary mission with a healing one. Initially she was reluctant to act on it, until one day she met a woman while sitting on a bench in Johannesburg. "She started talking about her health and all kinds of things. I listened and at the same time thought to myself, is this a sign? I let her talk and then I told her my dream. I said to her, 'I can lay my hands on you if you want and pray. I have never done anything like this in my life but if the Holy Spirit is going to do anything he'll do it and it won't be Mary Malone'." Afterwards, she invited the woman to write to her if she had been healed. "Three days later I got a letter from her, and she has never had that illness since."
From South Africa, Mary and Malcolm started out on a prayer and healing mission and have since travelled around the world fourteen times, having won a British Airways Award a few years ago. "I have never looked back and the Blessed Mother helped me through up to this present day."
Mary-claims to receive visions, and says she saw Our Lady during the Friday PM Live. "I had a vision of the Blessed Mother and she was standing on white rocks and she put out her two hands as if she was saying thanks."
During the programme a number of people spoke to her over the phone and she prayed with them. She says she doesn't always have to meet the people - during PM Live she invited viewers to place their hands on the TV while she prayed for healing.
Though some would feel uneasy at such a healing method normally associated with radical American TV preachers, if the response to PM Live is any indication, an Irish TV audience seem also willing to accept it. At the rear of the function room in the Spa Hotel a notice board has been erected with article cut-outs about Mary, letters of thanks from various TV personnel all over the world, and letters of acknowledgement of healing. One woman writes that her asthma has completely disappeared since Mary prayed with her. The father of a teenage son addicted to drugs thanks her for freeing him from the addiction.
Mary says hundreds of people have been healed. "But they must remember that it's not Mary Malone. It's the Holy Spirit and I'm only the instrument. What I do is I share God's love and Our Blessed Mother's love with the people."
One of the questions raised about Mary Malone's work is about the œ10 entrance fee to group sessions such as the one at the Spa Hotel. Those who are ill are very vulnerable, critics argue, and they will part with any kind of money in order to get better. Mary says the entrance fee is a "donation" which covers the cost of her work. "This is where the money goes - between the travelling, the hiring of cars, the hotels, and employing two men to work with us and they get their wages as well".
She insists: "Material things don't bother me. I couldn't give two boots - I could take a bag on my back and do what I'm doing today. But I have to think of my husband as well, and of course the bills that come in have to be paid."
The evening at the Spa Hotel starts with the rosary, followed by a talk by Mary, then a short meditation, after which those present go forward to be prayed with individually. A statue of Our Lady of Fatima stands, surrounded by flowers, in its wooden case on a table at the top of the room. While she prays with the people, soft music is played in the background.

"We are going to see
more murders, abortions,
problems with drugs and
drink before the year
2000. The rosary is our
protection. It will bring
peace to our homes and
to ourselves"

Afterwards, in a question-and-answer session, she tells the attentive group, "I could give up the healing in the morning but I could never give up the rosary." The rosary, she says, is her main message, as well as the promotion of the wearing of the brown scapular. "Those are our weapons because we are going to see more murders, abortions, problems with drugs and drink before the year 2000. The rosary is our protection. It will bring peace to our homes and to ourselves".
Mary says she has tried to leave Ireland three times but something has always turned up. She does, however, intend to do another world tour very shortly. In the meantime, she awaits "the call of Our Lady" as to where the next stop will be. And whatever the sceptics say, one thing is for sure - husband Malcolm will always be her number one supporter. He jovially describes himself as the bag carrier, but he is her manager, chauffeur, organiser and general right-hand man. Since Mary started her mission he has become a Catholic. Mary says, "I love my work and I have a great husband. We have a wonderful marriage and he is gives me one hundred per cent support."