‘LEGEND’ Maureen Cronin was given two standing ovations by delegates at the annual INTO Congress when the 99-year-old was honoured for defying the marriage ban and working for a year without pay in Mountcollins National School, County Limerick.
Kerry-born, Maureen taught for many years before marrying in 1950 and immediately came under the marriage ban. However, Maureen continued to work for almost a year before being told if she continued she would be removed by the gardaí.
Maureen subsequently worked in temporary jobs before taking up a permanent job in a private school in Castlecomer. She moved to Rockchapel, County Cork after the ban was lifted in 1958 and has resided in Ennis in her retirement.
The appreciative audience of INTO delegates welcomed Maureen when INTO president Sean McMahon told them ” a legend has entered the room” and during his speech showed their appreciation with two standing ovations.
Maureen told The Clare Champion that she never expected to receive the reception she got or to be seated with the officers of the union on the podium.
“I’m mortified really. I just didn’t expect this to happen,” she said.