Ireland’s Oldest Person Gives Life Advice On Her 109th Birthday
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Yesterday was no ordinary day at the Maryfield nursing home in Chapelizod, Dublin. It celebrated the birthday of its oldest resident, in fact, the birthday of the country’s oldest resident: 109-year-old Máirín Hughes.
Born on the 22nd of May 1914, two weeks before the outbreak of the first world war in Belfast, Máirín’s parents moved briefly to Dublin before settling in Killarney, county Kerry where she spent most of her childhood.
Remarkably, she remembers the Spanish Flu in 1918 and Black and Tans patrolling in Dublin during the War of Independence. She remains sharp and active by birdwatching, doing crosswords and “everything you’re supposed to do to keep well.”
Yesterday morning, Máirín was surprised by family members and friends with balloons and a big cake, much to her surprise and delight. In the lobby, she was presented with medals for each year she lived as a centenarian.
Her latest medal came with a quote: “You have lived through remarkable times in the history of Ireland and the world. You have witnessed remarkable changes, unimaginable at the time of your birth in 1914.”
The birthday girl was serenaded with her favourite song ‘Óró Sé do Bheatha Bhaile,’ before she joined her friends on the vintage tea bus to continue the celebrations.
Speaking to the Irish Times, Máirín handed out some very valuable life advice saying, “Live life to the full ... Not to waste any time, I think, is important.”
She added, “I like reading a lot. I always make sure I have something to read. I like listening to music. I just like living.”
The 109-year-old is very popular at the Chapelizod nursing home. Its director, Orla Quigg said, “Máirín is a super lady. She really is inspirational to all of us here.
She’s lived on the grounds of Maryfield for over 30 years. She lived in apartments at the front and then she moved into the nursing home when it was rebuilt.”
She added, “She doesn’t like the fuss, she doesn’t see why she should be made a fuss of. She just does what she does, and she feels if you get up every morning, sure that’s enough.”
Not only has Máirín touched the lives of her family, friends and fellow residents at Maryfield, but is such an inspiration to us all about how to lead a long and fulfilling life… and how to enjoy the ride along the way!