He has lived through the Spanish Flu pandemic, World War I and World War II, Ireland's fight for Independence, the Moon Landing, the Wall Street Crash and has seen and done much so it is no surprise that Michael O'Connor is now happy to sit back and relax at the grand old age of 107.
Sitting at his home in Muckross Michael O'Connor, marked his 107th birthday yesterday, Tuesday, with a glass of champagne, as he recalls his life-time of achievements.
"Thankfully I'm in good health. I have no calls for complaint and I don't complain," he told The Kerryman.
Having survived the Spanish Flu pandemic, during which he contracted the deadly virus, and almost did not survive, he has faced COVID-19 with relative ease though he says it is a 'worrying' time for all. However, such worries were set aside as Michael celebrated the momentous birthday. This year he received his 7th medal from President of Ireland to mark his birthday - another medal to add to collection acquired over the years of a life well-lived and not least for his war efforts back in World War II.
Michael was born in Glencar in south Kerry in 1913 but left Ireland as a young man and joined the Navy during World War 11.
"In my first entry to the war I was stationed in India and was transferred to Bombay .. I was on a ship that travelled to Egypt carrying 12,000 tonnes of explosives. Mussolini has just come into the war. We couldn't travel with the convoy in case we blew it up. . You couldn't describe the fear. It intensified when Japan entered but we survived it," recalls Michael.
During this era he survived the 'torpedoing' of his ship as well as the blockade of The Bay of Bengal by the Japanese.
He returned home to Ireland and married his wife Joan and had five children, working his way up the ranks of the Irish Civil service, based in Ennis, to become the Officer in charge of the North Atlantic communications, something he is very proud and he is even more proud of his five children and their achievements and a wall in his dining room holds their PHD's, masters and degree certificates.
Having retired in 1980 he decided to move from Limerick to Muckross and now spends his days in his beloved Kerry hail and hearty and proving age is just a number.
"107 years ago I kicked myself in the world today .. And I'm not going anywhere."