Mayo woman in New York makes headlines by feeding 45 strangers on Christmas

By Fiona Frawley

January 9, 2023 at 12:12pm

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Mary O’Halloran from Foxford, County Mayo invited a total of 45 people to her East Village pub for Christmas dinner.

The Christmas feast was part of a charitable initiative organised by the Humans of New York (HONY) photoblog, Western People, reports.

Each year, HONY works to partner people who don't want to be alone on Christmas with host families or individuals. Mayo-born Mary decided to go above and beyond and invite 45 strangers to her bar for a festive feast.

Mary has lived in New York for over 30 years, and runs a popular Irish Pub in the East Village.

Seemingly free from the all-consuming stress every Irish mother seems to take on while preparing Christmas dinner, Mary took it in her stride, preparing a quintessentially Irish offering of bacon and cabbage.

Speaking to Western People, Mary said the 'simple but really beautiful' meal went down a treat.

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It was pretty simple but it was really beautiful and it was just perfect and people loved it,” she explained. “They did not want to be alone or by themselves and it was just basically an act of kindness, people were just very happy.

We had an amazing Irish ham and cabbage dinner with mashed potatoes, and they just loved it. A lot of these people have never had something like this before so for them they loved that this was a real Irish dinner.

Every big party I have at Mary O’s I make Irish ham and cabbage. My husband and four of my children were here and then four of my regular customers came and they had also nowhere to go for Christmas and they came and they helped me do all the extra work that was needed.

Mary is also famous for her scones - over lockdown, Irish musicians who played at the pub helped her to set up an online shop so she could sell baked goods to friends and acquaintances. The shop made headlines on the Humans of New York blog and Mary continues to receive scone orders from all over America. According to Western People, Mary is still fulfilling orders that were made over lockdown - she's determined everyone who ordered a scone will get one.

Header image via Instagram/maryosirishpub

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