Sunday 17 November 2019

Lively Nan marks 100th birthday with a week full of celebrations

Age is only a number for woman who tends two gardens, swims, walks and likes her bingo

Sheila Fitzgerald

The profound saying 'age is only a number' is aptly borne out by 100-year-old Nan McGrath, who continues to lead an incredibly active life as she enters her 101st year.

Nan attends the 10am Mass every morning in her native Banteer, and while she gets a lift to the church, she likes to walk home. She enjoys watching the news on TV and is particularly fond of all the nature programmes hosted by David Attenborough. Nan is an avid gardener all year round, and despite the current wintery nip in the air, she has been out cutting slips off her flowers and shrubs and potting them in her greenhouse ahead of the frost.

During the summer months, Nan looks forward to staying at the family holiday home in Ardmore, where she enjoys swimming, walking on the beach, and gardening. It was quite a week of celebrations for Nan. On Tuesday she was the toast of the full house gathering at the bingo session, and on Wednesday morning, on the day she turned 100, Fr William Winter celebrated a special Mass for her in St Fursey's Church and later attended a get together at Nan's house, where he presented her with the president's cheque.  Over 100 guests attended a party in Banteer Community Centre on Saturday with relatives travelling from Dublin and Waterford to celebrate the landmark birthday. 

Nan was born in Portlaw, County Waterford, on October 23, 1919. She lived in Lord Waterford's Curraghmore Estate where her father was employed.  In 1956 she married her late husband, Jim McGrath, a native of Ardmore. Jim had served in the army and later became a garda. He was transferred to Kanturk in 1955, and the couple settled in Banteer in 1957.