Westport Road, Castlebar
I was sad to learn of the death of Mary Jennings or Mary B. for short. She was an outstanding lady in every respect. I often referred to her as The Empress for she ruled well, wisely, judiciously and her empire flourished under her tutelage.
When her husband Paddy died she had to take over the business he had established. This was no easy task for she had to keep her hand upon everything, know everything that was going on and what was not going on.
She ran two hotels and a large concert hall. She built the Travellers Friend and the Royal Ballroom into one of the finest venues in Ireland.
If a show was not on the stage of the Royal Ballroom then it was less than first rate. And all the shows were first rate. This tradition continues.
The Castlebar International Song Contest was the brightest show in Ireland and it was associated with glitter, glamour and grandeur.