Saturday 24 March 2018

Lizzy (106) reveals the secret to her long life- 'Forget men'

Elizabeth Dempsey is presented with a certificate by Minister for Old People Helen McEntree
Elizabeth Dempsey is presented with a certificate by Minister for Old People Helen McEntree
Allison Bray

Allison Bray

No smoking, drinking, men or stress.

That’s how 106-year-old Elizabeth ‘Lizzy’ Dempsey summed up the secret to her longevity when she was given a special commemorative certificate to be awarded to all centenarians this year.

Along with avoiding vices – including members of the opposite sex – Ms Dempsey ascribed “plenty of fresh air, good food and an 11am coffee” to her long life as Minister for Older People Helen McEntee gave her the certificate at the Ailesbury Nursing Home in Sandymount, south Dublin, yesterday.

She is among more than 40 centenarians living in nursing homes nationwide who will be given the certificates in the coming weeks.

The certs are given on behalf of the representative body Nursing Homes Ireland to mark those who have reached or passed their 100th birthday during the centenary of the 1916 Rising.

The cert includes a copy of The Proclamation and an inscription from Padraig Pearse in which he praised those “who make it with joy and laughter and these are the salt of the generations.”

Along with having a sense of humour, Ms Dempsey said letting go of worries has stood her in good stead over the years.

“I’ve had a very even existence and got the balance right in my life,” she said.

“I try not to stress and worry unduly. I worked nice and quietly in an enjoyable job and have lived a calm life.”

Ms Dempsey, who celebrated her birthday with a rare glass of sherry and strawberry sponge cake, grew up on St Mary’s Road in Ballsbridge and went on to work at a law office until her retirement at 75.


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