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Ireland’s oldest citizen celebrates birthday in Ballina

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HAPPY FAMILY Ballycastle native and Ireland’s oldest person Molly Madden celebrated her 109th birthday with family and friends in the Moyridge Nursing Home in Ballina on Tuesday. Pictured are Molly with her children, from left; Seán, Mary, Noel and PJ.

Anton McNulty

IRELAND’S oldest person, Molly Madden celebrated another significant milestone in her life when she celebrated her 109th birthday with family and friends.
Molly, who is Mayo’s oldest ever living person celebrated her birthday on Tuesday, December 8 in the Moyridge Nursing Home in Ballina where she now resides and was treated with a special birthday cake for the occasion.
The Ballycastle native made history in August when she became Mayo’s oldest ever person when she overtook the previous record of 108 years and 260 days. The previous record had been held by Ballindine native Helena Gibbons who died in Massachusetts, USA on October 18, 2002.
Molly, nee Keane, was born in Galway on December 8, 1906 but moved with her family aged three years to the village of Kincon in north Mayo. She later moved to Ballycastle for work and married local man Pat Madden, and were married for 65 years until his death in 2009. She lived in the seaside village until shortly before her one hundredth birthday.
Great celebrations
There was great celebrations for Molly in the Moyridge Nursing Home with her children, Seán. Mary, Noel and PJ joining her in celebrating her special day. There was a double birthday celebration on the day with fellow resident, Mai Strogen from Hill Street, Ballina celebrating her 93rd birthday on the same day. A special Mass was celebrated for both women in the nursing home and the two birthday girls were in great spirits on the day.   
The first of Molly’s milestones came last December when she became the oldest person living in Ireland following the death of Kildare woman Margaret O’Connell aged 109 years. In July she became Ireland’s oldest citizen following the death of Kathleen Snavely nee Haynes who was originally from Co Clare but died aged 113 years in Syracuse, New York.

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Anton McNulty