Mary Quaile

Mary Quaile (1886-1958) was a trade unionist.

Mary was born in Dublin and grew up in Manchester, leaving school at the age of 12.

She worked as a domestic servant but soon moved to work in a cafe.

Mary started her trade union work in the Clarion Cafe at 50a, Market Street in Manchester.

She was involved in the formation of the Manchester branch of the National Cafe Workers’ Union and soon became secretary of the branch. In 1911 Mary was appointed Assistant Organiser of the Manchester Women’s Trade Union Council.

She continued her trade union work including leading a women’s TUC delegation to the Soviet Union. Mary became a magistrate in 1934, while still involved in trade union work in Manchester.

She was the first woman trade unionist to receive the TUC Silver Medal for 21 consecutive years of office.

Mary died at her home in Withington in 1958 and was buried in Southern Cemetery.