Dodo Reddan and her pram of dogs.
The legendary and unforgettable Dodo Reddan (1922-1995)
By Zoe Conway
Dodo Reddan was not just a regular woman of Limerick. She was and continues to be an icon. What did she do to become this way you ask? She represented the heart and soul of Limerick in her acts of kindness. Even today, twenty-three years after her passing, the name is still remembered and recognised, especially in the young Munster rugby circles.
Dodo Reddan was a passionate woman, she cared greatly for her fellow citizens, but especially her dogs, and of course, rugby. Dodo was always a well-known figure in Limerick because of her columns in the Limerick Leader. She regularly wrote here, speaking about any and everything that she felt needed to be talked about.
She was an animal activist, even when the term was foreign to Limerick. She often used her column to discuss how to properly care for your dogs, as well as search for homes for some of the dogs she had rescued. However, it was her exploits with her infamous pram of dogs that pushed her into the status of a legend. At every young Munster rugby match, Dodo was seen, dressed to the nines, with a pram of small dogs, dressed in their team’s colours, the same as Dodo.
It didn’t take long for Dodo’s actions at matches to become a crowd-pleasing event. Everyone loved to see her wheeling the pram of dogs onto the pitch, what they didn’t expect, however, was to see her and her dogs in Dublin, for the 1993 League finals! Dodo managed to make it up to Dublin, not just by herself, but with her pram full of dogs.
The crowd cheered her as she entered the pitch, wheeling the pram in hand, and the luck of Dodo Reddan is still believed to have played a helping hand towards the first win in the finals in forty-two years! It was at this moment, that Dodo became an unforgettable part of Limerick history.
It was her perseverance that got her there that day. She didn’t stop, or look back, or falter. When the train refused to let her travel with the dogs in the passenger’s compartment, she rode to Dublin in the goods compartment. When busses and taxis refused to take her to Lansdowne road with the dogs, she walked. She persevered, and in doing so she brought joy and luck to her favourite rugby team.
Dodo did so many things for Limerick, some of which wasn’t even revealed until after she passed, mainly the extent to which she cared for stray dogs. After her death, it was revealed that Dodo was, in fact, running a one-woman animal rescue centre out of her own pocket. On the date of her death, Dodo left behind an astonishing twenty-four dogs, all of which were given to Limerick Animal Welfare(LAW) to rehome. None of the dogs was put down, despite their large number, so as LAW could honour Dodo’s wishes.
Dodo Reddan lived a great life, caring for the things she loved, be that her dogs, her fellow citizens, or her favourite rugby team. She knew how to fight for what was right, and used her column to help the city improve itself. She was an icon of pure kindness and a perfect example of the love and generosity that can be found in Limerick. Dodo Reddan is not just a woman, she is a legend.
For more of my work on I Love Limerick, go here.