'I’ve always been an independent woman' - Irish woman on her secrets to a happy life as she turns 100
KATHLEEN McCormack has plenty of reasons to smile today as she turns 100 surrounded by her family.
Born in the village of Fore in Co Westmeath on this day in 1918, she says she’s as surprised as anyone that she has reached the milestone birthday.
She was a sickly child, but being teetotal and a woman of faith she has outlived nearly all of her five siblings with the exception of “baby brother” Michael who is 93.
Kathleen, who never married, remembers clearly many of the events throughout her life.
“I remember a lot of Irish history and politics,” she said from her niece Vera’s home in Marino, Dublin.
“I remember my mother giving a currant cake to a young man on the run during the struggle for independence, and him running away up the hill with it.
“I don’t know how many chest infections and pneumonia bouts I had as a child.
“I smoked five Woodbines a day then which probably didn’t help.
“I tried a pipe too but that didn’t work out.
“When I was growing up I would have to walk the cow to be milked in the morning before I went to school, and then again in the evening.”
Kathleen spent her working life in Dublin running a B&B on Gardiner Street.
One thankful former lodger still gives her a turkey every Christmas.
Asked how she felt about turning 100, she said she feels good.
“Thank God I’m still here and I’m sound and healthy,” Kathleen said.
“I’ve always been an independent woman and I believe women should strive for more independence.”