Offaly Independent

Published: Friday, 6th June, 2014 10:20am

Ireland's highest decorated WW2 survivor celebrates 100th birthday in Killurin

Profile by Laura Ryder

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Joe Dunne is pictured on the left with his siblings on the occasion of his brother George's 100th birthday three years ago.
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Killurin native Joe Dunne is Ireland's highest-decorated survivor of World War 2, and today (Sunday) he will celebrate turning 100 surrounded by his friends and family.

Joe celebrated with family in Killurin yesterday, while members of his former regiment, the Irish Guards, also attended and read a letter for Joe from Colonel of the Irish Guards and future King of England Prince William.

His birthday proper will be celebrated by friends and family in Moate Nursing Home, where Joe has been resident for the past few years, today.

Joe's life has certainly been action-packed. Having fought in Norway, Tunisia and Italy during the war, he settled in London with Cavan woman Bridie Monaghan in the years afterwards.

Bridie died when the youngest of their five children was just two however, leaving Joe to keep his family together.

Joe retired to his beloved Killurin in the mid-1980s. Four years ago he suffered a stroke that left him speechless and in need of 24 hour care. However his daughter Tricia says he's still sharp as a tack.

Asked about her father's long life, Tricia said she suspects hard work, handling whatever comes and not being a big smoker or drinker have all played their part in him reaching 100.

For the full story, see the most recent edition of the FREE Offaly Independent.

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