Louth

| 22.8°C Dublin

‘A precious light in our community’ – Cooley woman Madge Boyle celebrates 100th birthday

Close

Madge Boyle who celebrated her 100th birthday. Photo: Ken Finegan/www.newspics.ie

Madge Boyle who celebrated her 100th birthday. Photo: Ken Finegan/www.newspics.ie

5 Generations......Great Great Grandson Rian with Caoimhe, Jacqueline and Michael Boyle at Madge Boyle's 100th birthday party. Photo: Ken Finegan/www.newspics.ie

5 Generations......Great Great Grandson Rian with Caoimhe, Jacqueline and Michael Boyle at Madge Boyle's 100th birthday party. Photo: Ken Finegan/www.newspics.ie

Great Great and Great grandchildren with Madge Boyle at her 100th birthday party. Photo: Ken Finegan/www.newspics.ie

Great Great and Great grandchildren with Madge Boyle at her 100th birthday party. Photo: Ken Finegan/www.newspics.ie

Sean, Katie, Rose and Jack Boyle with Aideen, Ella and Ciaran O'Neill at Madge Boyle's 100th birthday party. Photo: Ken Finegan/www.newspics.ie

Sean, Katie, Rose and Jack Boyle with Aideen, Ella and Ciaran O'Neill at Madge Boyle's 100th birthday party. Photo: Ken Finegan/www.newspics.ie

Grandchildren......Madge Boyle with her grandchildren at her 100th birthday party. Photo: Ken Finegan/www.newspics.ie

Grandchildren......Madge Boyle with her grandchildren at her 100th birthday party. Photo: Ken Finegan/www.newspics.ie

Madge Boyle with her children Michael, Pat, Sean, Patricia, Mary, Kathleen and Margaret at her 100th birthday party. Absent from the picture is Thomas. Photo: Ken Finegan/www.newspics.ie

Madge Boyle with her children Michael, Pat, Sean, Patricia, Mary, Kathleen and Margaret at her 100th birthday party. Absent from the picture is Thomas. Photo: Ken Finegan/www.newspics.ie

Madge Boyle with her children Michael, Pat, Sean, Patricia, Mary, Kathleen and Margaret at her 100th birthday party. Absent from the picture is Thomas. Photo: Ken Finegan/www.newspics.ie

Madge Boyle with her children Michael, Pat, Sean, Patricia, Mary, Kathleen and Margaret at her 100th birthday party. Absent from the picture is Thomas. Photo: Ken Finegan/www.newspics.ie

Grandchildren......Madge Boyle with her grandchildren at her 100th birthday party. Photo: Ken Finegan/www.newspics.ie

Grandchildren......Madge Boyle with her grandchildren at her 100th birthday party. Photo: Ken Finegan/www.newspics.ie

/

Madge Boyle who celebrated her 100th birthday. Photo: Ken Finegan/www.newspics.ie

argus

If it wasn’t for missing a planned visit to the Twin Towers as part of a trip to New York for her 80th birthday in 2001, Madge Boyle might not have celebrated her 100th birthday on Saturday.

Madge and her son Sean were in New York the day the Twin Towers collapsed but luckily had slept in as they otherwise would have been waiting in line to visit the World Trade Centre at the time of  the terror attack.

As it was, they watched the events of the day unfold with a sense of gratitude as well as shock.

Their lucky escape was one of the many stories recalled as the family gathered on Saturday to help Madge celebrate her milestone birthday.

This is Louth Newsletter

Your weekly fix of local news and sport headlines from Louth, direct to your inbox

This field is required

The elegant centenarian, who still lives at home with her daughter Mary and son-in-law Henry, is a very well-known and much loved member of the Cooley community.

Madge was born to Patrick White, a carpenter from Cooley and Kathelen McGeown, from Drumnacara, Ravensdale who had taught for a while at Jonesboro School. She was one of two sets of twins in the family, Madge and her brother Mike, and Mary and Pete. She is the only surviving member of the family.

She went to Monksland National School and worked as a domestic science attendant at Bush school under headmaster, James Ruane, when the new school opened in 1940. 

She married Mike Boyle in 1943 St. James' Church, Grange and as was customary at the time, she gave up her job to look her family.

The couple had met through their involvement with the Cooley Kickhams. Madge played camogie and Mike was one of Cooley's top players of the 1930s, winning two Senior championships and two junior championships with the club and an All Ireland junior winning medal with Louth in 1934.

With her husband she got involved with the running of the club and looked after the green and gold jerseys for 35 years! Cooley Kickhams has remained a huge part of the Boyle family to the present day.

The couple had nine children, 25 grandchildren; 29 great grandchildren, and one great great grand child.

Madge always took a great interest in parish affairs and was willing to lend a hand like helping out at functions, celebrations. For many years she organised the annual Cooley Pilgrimage to Knock, a task she thoroughly enjoyed.

Her deep faith is an important part of her life, especially after the death of Mike in 1985 at a football match in Termonfeckin.

She was a very active member of Cooley ICA and served for many years as president and secretary. She also served on the Louth County ICA executive for many years and submitted regular monthly notes to the Argus (and dare the paper make a mistake in the print or spelling!)

She was very much involved in organising the Cooley Water Scheme and played a prominent role in persuading householders to join up. Likewise, she was involved in getting safety alarms for the elderly.

Like many women of her vintage she loved sewing, knitting, gardening, baking and for many years attended twice weekly evening classes at the Bush school. She was an avid bingo attender and supported the weekly bingo in Cooley hall from its inception until not very long ago.

This mixture of hard work, caring for others, keeping busy, and a daily nap in the afternoon have stood her in good stead.

Today she remains quite healthy, and enjoys reminiscing abut the olden days.

While her family had sent her to New Jersey to visit her much loved American relations for her 80th birthday, they marked her 100th birthday with a family gathering on Saturday,

The following day, a bench was unveiled in her honour at Bush bridge, across the road from where she had been born on September 12th 1921. Fr Malachy Conlon PP, who said a blessing, described Madge as “a precious light in our community” 

 Cooley Kickhams Chairman Niall Brady and Louth County Board Chairman Peter Fitzpatrick, presented her with gifts to mark her milestone birthday.


Privacy