independent

Friday 31 October 2014

Friends and family gather for Michael's 100th

Published 16/10/2013 | 05:36

Michael Dowling celebrating his 100th birthday with his great-granddaugher Ciara Coleman who was celebrating her 1st birthday. Photo: Michelle Cooper Galvin.

A GATHERING for "a very family oriented man" was how Margaret O'Riordan described the festivities that took place on Thursday to mark the 100th birthday of her father Michael Dowling and the first birthday of his great-granddaughter Ciara Coleman.

A phenomenal 99 years apart, both Michael and Ciara share the same birthday and family members from across the globe, including Canada, Rome and the UK, all made the trip to Our Lady Of Lourdes Nursing Home in Killcummin on Thursday for the double birthday party.

With five children, 10 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren, Michael certainly has a lot of names for the Christmas card list.

One of those is the former civil servant's daughter Margaret O' Riordan, who is the last remaining sibling in Killarney.

"If you had to pick stand-out moments from his life, they would definitely be meeting my mother Annie, the birth of his children and the birth of his grand and great-grandchildren. He is a very family oriented man," said Margaret.

Michael has seen major changes in the world and Margaret says he views this generation as extremely lucky, despite the hardships of post Celtic Tiger Ireland.

"He lived through wars and the depressions so he sees the way we live now as very well-off," she said.

A big hurling and football follower, in that order, Michael, who is originally from Waterford, puts his longevity down to three simple things: A good woman, God and a good glass of whiskey.

He was presented with a cheque for the 'Centenarian Bounty' of €2,540 on Thursday and has already received a letter of congratulations from President Michael D Higgins.

Kerryman

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