Caherconlish woman Eileen Barry is still motoring at 100 years of age

Mike Dwane

Reporter:

Mike Dwane

LIMERICK’S latest centenarian Eileen Barry has celebrated a special birthday with relatives, friends and staff at Roseville nursing home in Killonan.

LIMERICK’S latest centenarian Eileen Barry has celebrated a special birthday with relatives, friends and staff at Roseville nursing home in Killonan.

Born in Knockatanna, Caherconlish 100 years ago, Eileen was the second eldest child of Michael and Marie Barry. After school in Caherconlish and as a boarder in Bruff, Eileen worked on the family farm well into her 70s.

Kathleen Wilkinson, director of care at Roseville, said that despite her advanced years, Eileen Barry was anything but stuck in her ways.

“She leads a very independent life and she was 64 years of age when she learned to drive, which tells you a lot about the kind of woman she is. Her first car was a Ford. Eileen always enjoyed gardening as well.”

A resident of Roseville since 2005, Eileen has been “very open” to the changes that have affected residential care in that relatively short period of time - through HIQA guidelines and other developments.

“There have been changes in routines, in meals and things like that and she has never had a problem with it. She is one of our best residents in that regard,” Ms Wilkinson said.

Eileen has retained a keen interest in the world around her and tuned into Enda Kenny’s address to the nation last Sunday night, the date on which she reached the milestone.

That was after a special mass had been celebrated at Roseville to mark Eileen’s big day at which she was joined by her former parish priest Fr Pat Currivan. Relatives, friends and well-wishers also joined Eileen for a meal finished off with a monster birthday cake.