By Jimmy Rhatigan
Pics: Donal Foley
A POPULAR local woman who has just hit a magic 100 years attributes her longevity to abstention from cigarettes and alcohol.
She believes that her love of walking also kept her in good fettle.
Mary Holden who celebrated her birthday at Archersrath Nursing Home on Saturday, came here from her native Gniomh Guile, Kerry many moons ago.
She has lived in Aylesbury on the periphery of our city for almost 30 years.
She also spent spells in Reading, England and Kilbricken, Callan.
With her husband, Larry who passed away almost 20 years ago, she loved to walk from The Sycamores to the heart of our city for family shopping.
A sprightly centenarian, Mary celebrated a century with family and friends. Last Friday was exactly 100 years since she was born.
It was no surprise that a party for a loving mother, grandmother and great grandmother should bring good numbers from Kerry and her adopted Kilkenny.
Delighted to be with a woman they have always loved and admired were her daughter Ann O’Donoghue, Lavistown, son John Joe Holden, Reading, nephews Richard, Tom and Pat Holden, all sons of Callan, Annie McGree, Lisdowney and Rita Kenneally, Mullinavat, nieces.
Son-in-law, Frank O’Donoghue gave a beautiful rendering of what we might term the Kerry Anthem, The Boys of Barr na Sráide, a street in Cahirciveen.
Mary has four grandchildren and six great grandchildren.
Archersrath matron,Anna Maher presented her with a cheque from President Michael D. Higgins to mark her special birthday.
Mary has received tender, loving care in Archersrath for the past five years.
A momentous occasion was marked with a tea and buns party.
It was a warm and friendly get-together, a fitting tribute to a good woman’s long and happy life, with good wishes for her future health and happiness.