WITH SIX children, eight grandchildren and a husband of 43 years, most women in their early sixties are thinking of slowing down – but not Bridie Farrell.
Not only has the 62-year-old run the New York, Paris and Dublin marathons, but has also climbed the Tigers Head and Table Mountain in South Africa, walked in the Sini, Sahara and Gobi deserts, and run the Camino, all for local charities.
Now the Bettystown lady has scaled the biggest mountain of them all, and will shortly receive her BA in Fine Art, eight years after she first started studying.
'I could have been a doctor by now,' she laughs.
'I've always painted and I started all this with my diploma in Newry, followed by two years in DIFE, and 'four years' hard work' at DIT, Portland Row, Dublin.'
But this latest achievement is far from the last on Bridie's bucket list. 'I'm already planning my next walk in Poland in September, when I'm going to raise funds for the local branch of Cystic Fibrosis Ireland,' she explains.
'I was great friends with Paddy Kierans, and Julia [Kierans] does so much for the charity, so after doing one the year before last, I said it was time again.'
She says she is so grateful for having healthy children, that she has pledged to raise as much as possible for those with CF and other conditions.
'I have always stayed fit, and cycle or run eight miles a day, or swim,' she adds.
'I was supposed to climb Mount Kilimanjaro a few years ago, but hurt my ankle, but it's still on the plans.'
Born Bridie Carroll in the Green Lane, Drogheda, this gregarious granny left the Presentation School in Fair Street at age 13.
She married husband Paddy, whom she describes as a ' homebird', 43 years ago and has raised money for Crumlin, Beaumont, Rehab, The Irish Wheelchair Association, CF and Enable Ireland over the past 27 years.
'I've been around the world twice now, including Vietnam, India and China, and God knows what I might do next,' she says with a cheeky grin.
'I might go for the MA next September after I come back from Poland.
'It would be great if more young people got involved, but I'd like to thank the people of Drogheda and the surrounding areas for their support.
'Even in these hard times they are generous.'
Watch this space for more details of how to support Bridie's walk to Poland for CF in the coming weeks.