Farewell to ‘first lady of Ballymoney’

The funeral of Mollie Holmes. who was 101-years-old, and from Ballymoney
The funeral of Mollie Holmes. who was 101-years-old, and from Ballymoney

Almost 600 people attended the funeral in Ballymoney yesterday of a former mayor of the borough who died this week aged 101.

Mollie Holmes OBE – often referred to as ‘the first lady of Ballymoney’ – entered local government in 1955 as the first female councillor in the area.

Rev Andrew Sweeney of St Patrick’s Church carried out her funeral service.

“It was a fitting end to an amazing life,” he told the News Letter. “Mollie really put Ballymoney on the map.”

Mourners walked in the bitter wind from the church to the cemetery, he said.

“It was almost like a state funeral. People lined the streets to pay their last respects.”

Among mourners were Ian Paisley MP, Lord lieutenant of Co Antrim Joan Christie and Mervyn Storey MLA.