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A special great-grandmother's day for Mary as she turns 105

Mary McLoughlin celebrates with her youngest great-grandchild, nine-month-old Tom Costello, and his parents Bryan and Diane. DAVID WALSH

MARY McLoughlin had more reason than anyone to celebrate Mother's Day yesterday. As well as being feted on her special day, Mary was also celebrating her 105th birthday.

Now one of the oldest citizens in the State, Mary was joined for the unique family celebrations in Ballinasloe, Co Galway, by her 10 children, 28 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

Born in Caltra in 1906, Mary spent 12 years in the US before returning to east Galway to marry Patrick McLoughlin and settling into a farming life. Patrick passed away in 1980.

Yesterday her daughter, Mary Theresa, a retired schoolteacher, said that her entire family was very proud of Mary. "She is the oldest person in this area, and was recently honoured by being asked to perform the opening of the Caltra Golden Mile, along with the youngest, Stephen Kelly.

"She is active for her age and gets out to Mass when the weather is good. She has no arthritis, but her eyesight and hearing are not what they once were.

"My mother worked very hard all her life. She had her hands full with 10 children. While she loved New York and went back there to visit a few times, she is a Caltra girl at heart," Mary Theresa added.

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