Thursday 17 April 2014

Happy Johanna sings her way to 103

Loughrea Native, Co. Galway Johanna Connaughton celebrating her 103 years birthday Surrounded by friends, neighbours and large family members.
Picture: Hany Marzouk
Loughrea native Johanna Connaughton celebrating her 103rd birthday. Photo: Hany Marzouk

THE secret to a long life is to "live happy and sing a song", said a great-grandmother as she celebrated her 103rd birthday this week.

Johanna Connaughton, from Loughrea, Co Galway, marked her birthday in style with family and friends and a party involving her 19 grandchildren and 23 great-grandchildren.

She told the Irish Independent of her love for story-telling while her favourite songs to perform are 'Galway Bay' and 'Kevin Barry'.

Mrs Connaughton remembers things like the Black and Tans terrorising inhabitants around Galway as well as her ration book during the war years.

She said her longevity was down to her "anti-smoking and anti-drinking" philosophy in addition to her love for singing, reading and "being happy every day of your life".

She splits her days between living at her own home in Loughrea and spending time with her son Gerard and daughter-in-law Josephine.

"She's never had an ache or a pain in her life and her good health is because she was blessed with good genes," said her daughter Dympna Conway.

Mrs Connaughton was born in 1910 in Kilkee, Co Clare, but moved to Gort with her family when she was just nine months old.

She has lived in Loughrea for more than a century.

She married Paddy Connaughton in 1934 and had eight children -- six boys and two girls -- during a long and happy matrimony, before Paddy passed away in 1991.

Irish Independent

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