Wednesday 21 March 2018

Oldest Irish person ever to have lived dies at age of 113

Kathleen Snavely
Kathleen Snavely
Mark O'Regan

Mark O'Regan

The oldest Irish person ever to have lived has died at the record age of 113.

Kathleen Snavely, a native of Co Clare, passed away at a nursing home in New York yesterday.

She lived for 113 years and 140 days.

At the time of her death she was recorded as the 16th oldest person in the world and the sixth oldest in the United States.

Born on February 16, 1902 to parents Patrick and Ellen Hayes in Feakle, Co Clare, Kathleen emigrated to New York in 1921, at the age of 19.

In a recent interview, she said she was determined not to work in domestic service like so many Irish women emigrants to the US at that time.

She had not come to America ''to change sheets or wash clothes."

Kathleen left Ireland in the middle of the War of Independence to live with her mother's brother, Jeremiah Moroney, in Syracuse, New York.

She was twice married: with her first husband, Roxie Rollins, she set up Seneca Dairy, a retail business specialising in dairy products.

A few years after his death in 1968, she married a successful Pennsylvania businessman called Jessie Snavely.

She never had children.

Shortly before her death, Kathleen was said to be "hard of hearing but clear of mind".

It is believed she passed away at a healthcare facility called the Centres at St Camillus in Syracuse, where she had been living for a number of years.

Irish Independent

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