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Betty's on cloud 90 after achieving lifelong dream

A THRILL-seeking 90-year-old has taken to the skies in a hot air balloon to fulfil a lifelong dream.

Despite having travelled the world and living in many exotic locations in her lengthy life, adventurous Betty Geraghty from Dunshaughlin, Co Meath, has long harboured an ambition to try out the activity.

And after a short ride over the Porchfields in Trim, accompanied by her son Peter, the inspirational granny celebrated the flight with a glass of champagne.

"Some time ago, she mentioned she would like to go up in a hot air balloon. Her son booked the trip three years ago but they only got around to actually doing the balloon flight last week," said a source.

"It's great to see that her sense of adventure has never waned, despite her getting on in years. She used to be in the Royal Air Force so she clearly has no fear of heights."

Born in England in 1919, she was raised in Peru where her father, Dr Burgess Barnett, ran a zoo. A well-known zoologist, Dr Barnett discovered an early cure for haemophilia using snake venom. He was also the recipient of an MBE for his actions during World War Two.

In her teens, she returned to England for a short time to finish her education and, in 1938, she moved with her family to Rangoon, Burma, where her father ran another zoo.

The Second World War broke out while they were in Burma and Betty joined the Royal Air Force where she met her husband, Michael Geraghty from Merrywell, Drumree, Co Meath.

The couple married in 1942, just four weeks after meeting.

They left Burma for India, where they stayed on for several years, with Betty giving birth there to two of their daughters, Patricia and Judy.



Settled

In 1946, the Geraghtys arrived in Ireland and settled in Dublin, raising their five daughters and one son. When she arrived, Betty joined the Burma Star Association and was secretary for 35 years. She received an MBE for this work in 1998.

The couple moved to Dunshaughlin in 2002 and celebrated their 63rd wedding anniversary in 2005, the same year that Michael sadly passed away, aged 98.

mfinn@herald.ie


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