100 to one shot: baby Ciara and great-grandad share birthday 99 years apart
TWO generations of a family will celebrate landmark birthdays today as little Ciara Coleman turns one on the same day her great-grandfather, Michael Dowling, reaches the venerable age of 100.
Although 99 years apart in age, the two share the same birthday and will be the toast of their family with a joint celebration in Killarney, Co Kerry, tomorrow.
Former civil servant Mr Dowling, whose wife Annie passed away in 2009, has five children, 10 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren.
His granddaughter Mairead Dowling, mother of Ciara, who lives in Dundrum, Dublin, said the pair are firm friends.
"When we go down to Killarney to meet her great-grandfather, she loves him. He's very good with all the great-grandchildren."
And she said Mr Dowling attributes his longevity to a simple combination of three elements.
"He would say it's down to three things – a good woman, God and uisce beatha. He enjoys a glass of whiskey. There might be something in it," she laughed.
The extended family, friends and neighbours are planning a party – with relatives travelling from as far afield as Canada, Italy, England and Wales to attend the event in Killarney.
Mr Dowling has already received a letter of congratulations from President Michael D Higgins marking his 100th birthday and will today be presented with a cheque for the Centenarian Bounty of €2,540.