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Saturday 17 February 2018

Proud Kerry girl Miriam loves her Uncle Jack

Majella O'Sullivan

Majella O'Sullivan

MIRIAM O'Callaghan was home among her own yesterday as she met up with her 90-year-old Uncle Jack.

The 'Prime Time' presenter was in Castleisland, Co Kerry, where she helped the local day care centre celebrate its 10th anniversary with the launch of a new CD.

But the star revealed the main reason she returned to her roots was because of a close family connection.

"I was overjoyed when I got the phone call inviting me and the main reason I wanted to be here is because I love my Uncle Jack," said Ms O'Callaghan, whose uncle is a regular at the centre.

"I always say I'm from Kerry and there's never any doubt about that," she added, much to the delight of the 130 elderly residents who use Castleisland Day Care Centre on a daily basis.

Her father Jerry grew up in Callaghan's Cross just outside the town, where her "favourite uncle" still lives.

Yesterday, between photographs and a visit to Scoil Mhuire Gan Smal national school, she got a chance to catch up with her uncle and some cousins.

Jack O'Callaghan told the Irish Independent he was very proud of his niece and delighted she visited a place that's very special to him.

"I'm very happy to be here today. I have my dinner here every day and the staff are very friendly," he said.

Mr O'Callaghan also enjoys the group singing at the centre, although he wasn't one of those recorded on their new CD 'Forever and Ever'.

It features 16 local people who use the centre telling stories and singing songs, and has received a few spins in the 'Prime Time' offices during the week.

Julia Moriarty from Brosna said she got cold feet the last time a CD was recorded at the centre -- but this time happily sang 'Far Away a Light Is Burning'.

Mrs Moriarty attends the centre each Monday with her friend Ita Lane, who also features on the CD.

"We've got younger since we started coming here. We always have a lovely time, and we look forward to it," Mrs Moriarty said.

Today marks the 10th anniversary of the opening of the centre, but nursing manager Marcella Finn said that time had flown.

Since it opened, the staff have welcomed more than 5,500 clients to the facility.

Irish Independent

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