Mary celebrates 100th birthday

SHEILA FITZGERALD

Published 30/08/2014 | 00:00

Mary O’Riordan with brother Eugene and her sons and daughters at her 100th birthday party which she celebrated with family and friends at Nazareth House, Dromahane

THE sky over Nazareth House in Dromahane turned into a sea of colour recently as family, relatives, and friends of Mary O'Riordan released 100 helium balloons to celebrate her landmark 100th birthday.

Mary, who is a native of Kilbrin, was joined by her 12 sons and daughters, who travelled from all over the country to be with her for this unique occasion. Fr. John O'Riordan, who is based in Mahon, Denis, Kanturk, Sr. Eily, Birmingham, Mary Hannafin, Dublin, Donal, Dublin, Catherine, Limerick, Stephen, Carrigtwohill, Noel, Ballyhea, Carmel Fleming, Cullen, and Sheila Dennehy, Martin, and Tom, Kilbrin were all absolutely delighted to see their mother reach the great age of 100.

Mary's brother, Eugene Murphy, who was the life and soul of the party, made the journey from Ballinagree to be with her. She was also joined by her 38 grand children and 38 great grand children, as well as relatives who travelled from Germany, Dubai, and the UK for the occasion.

Mary Murphy was born in Ballinagree in 1914, she married her husband, Michael, and moved to Ballynoe, Kilbrin.

However, Michael passed away at a young age in 1963 when their youngest child, Carmel, was just two years old.

Mary's son, Tom, told The Corkman how his mother was truly wonderful as she looked after the farm and did all the outdoor work as well as simultaneously raising a big family.

Mary was a dab hand at sewing and knitting, was a great reader and storyteller, and fantastic at crosswords.

Tom added that she was "mad into sport" and enjoyed watching all types of sport on TV with a particular interest in snooker and rugby as she got older.

Mary was treasurer of Kilbrin ICA for a number of years and continued to drive her car up to the age of 95. She lived independently at home until the age of 99, with her family dropping in to give a helping hand and keep an eye on her.

Sadly, two of Mary's sons, Jim and Michael, have predeceased her.

Mary has been residing in the Nazareth House with the past year and enjoys having the paper read to her and chatting with her visitors about the happenings around Kilbrin.

Everyone at the party paid tribute to her for her "wonderful long life of dedication and service to her family" and Mary in turn thanked all who contributed to making her big day so special, and those who gave her Mass bouquets, cards, flowers, and gifts.

Corkman

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