Centenarian shares the secrets of a long life

Esther Hayden

Published 13/11/2013 | 05:44

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Mrs Helena Murphy

Stay away from the booze and the ciggies, eat three square meals a day and do plenty of walking.

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That's the secret to a hale and hearty life if Helena Murphy is anything to go by.

Helena from 12 St. Peter's Place, Arklow celebrated her 100th birthday last Wednesday surrounded by her friends and family.

Helena who originally hails from Ballyhaunis, Co. Roscommon met and married Peter Murphy of Wexford town in London and the couple moved back home to Ireland when the war broke out.

They moved first to Roscommon before finally settling in Arklow and they spent many happy years together here rearing their family of five, Liam, Peter, Pat, Kathleen and Gretta.

Peter died in 1969 leaving Helena a widow and sadly last month her eldest son Liam passed away suddenly in England and poignantly his ashes were buried last Saturday.

Although not keen on having a big birthday bash given the sad circumstances. Helena was overjoyed to have her four remaining children with her last Wednesday with Kathleen flying in from America and Gretta making the trip from England for their mother's special occasion.

In good health Helena has a great interest in everything in her locality and beyond.

A woman of very deep faith she listens to Mass daily on the radio and has always been a very devout Church goer. She was thrilled to receive a visit on her birthday from Fr. Cosgrove and Fr. Murtagh.

Daughter-in-law Breda said Helena was delighted with all the visits from friends and family on the day and said the house was inundated with flowers and cards of congratulations.

Cllr. Pat Fitzgerald presented her cheque and certificate from President Michael D. Higgins.

Breda said Helena lives a very health life and never drank or smoke and enjoyed three meals a day resisting the urge to snack between meals.

She also enjoyed walking when she was younger and this health lifestyle has, no doubt, contributed to her great age.

Wicklow People

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