Irish woman Kathleen set for record 112th birthday
Published 10/01/2014 | 07:04
THIS lady, who turns 112 next month, has become the longest-living Irish person in history.
Kathleen Hayes Snavely, originally from Co Clare, is 111 years and 328 days old.
Now living in New York, she’s surpassed the record held by Co Louth aristocrat Katherine Plunket.
Mrs Plunket, who was born in November 1820 and died in October 1932, was listed from the very first days of the Guinness Book of Records as Ireland's oldest ever person.
But now the honour is held by Mrs Snavely, who will celebrate her 112th birthday on February 16.
Originally from Feakle, Co Clare, she emigrated to the United States in 1921.
She now lives at the Centres at St Camillus healthcare facility in Syracuse in New York state, according to website Irish Central. Up until she was around 104, she lived alone in her own home.
Mrs Snavely was born in 1902 to Patrick and Ellen Hayes and left Ireland for the US in her teens.
After eight days at sea, Kathleen arrived at Ellis Island on September 30, 1921 with $25 to her name. She was bound for Syracuse to stay with her maternal uncle, Jeremiah Moroney.
She settled down in the States and married Roxie E Rollins, who passed away nearly half a century ago.
And she later married Jesse Snavely, who she survives by a number of years.
Mrs Snavely has relatives still in Ireland, among them her nephew, Gerard Hayes, who lives in Limerick.
Mr Hayes said his aunt is in good health and he is in regular contact with her.
“She, as a businesswoman together with her first husband Roxie, worked very hard. She is a non-drinker and non-smoker. She was a very tall striking woman in her day,” he told The Clare Champion.
Mrs Snavely was issued with a congratulatory letter and a cheque to the value of €2,540 on reaching her 100th birthday.
News of Mrs Snavely reaching her new milestone has been widely reported in the Irish American community in the US.