Dublin unsung heroes: “the lollipop lady”

Olufemi Alex-Odunsi

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“I know the children; I know all their faces…And we say here’s the last two now and let them cross the road.”

Often times when children go to school, there is a man or woman who controls traffic and allows the kids pass safely and these people are often referred to as “the lollipop lady/man.” Rita Dolan is the beloved lollipop lady that keeps the streets safe for children to cross to school in St Kevin’s south circular road in Dublin 8.

“Lollipop lady” Rita Dolan photocredit: Janet Olufemi

Recounting what she does Rita Dolan explains with love in her eyes saying “we let the children cross the road every morning to school and when they come out of school we let them back across the road safely.” She resumes at work daily from 8 am till 9 am in order to accomplish this.

Rita Dolan the lollipop lady at St. Kevin’s only started her duty about a year ago says there are “about 15- 20 kids that crosses daily in the morning” and she recognizes every child that crosses the road ” I recognize the children, all their faces, I know when they are coming down the road, I say ‘hey here’s the last two now’ and we let them cross the road.”

Photo credit: Janet Olufemi

Rita is not the only one who helps the kids cross, there’s also another man and both of them are fondly called “lollipop ladies” by the kids which they don’t mind.

“Lollipop ladies” Photo credit : Janet Olufemi

She is well liked by both parents and kids alike and according to her “we know the parents and all that, we talk to them, they all say hello, I get great laughs out of the kids.”

Photo credit : Janet Olufemi

Although Rita Dolan only just started, she sees herself doing this job in the next 3-5 years because according to her she loves it, “absolutely love it.”

 

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Olufemi Alex-Odunsi