Margaret Molloy

Local woman celebrates her 103rd birthday!

Margaret Molloy, who was born in Ballyduff near Clonmacnoise on July 18, 1920, has recently celebrated her 103rd birthday!

Born Margaret O'Shea, she lived in Ballyduff until moving to Castledaly in 1943 when she got married. She still lives in Castledaly today with her son Seán on their farm.

Margaret has five children, Moira, Anne, Eileen, Pat, and Seán, along with 14 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren.

Her son Pat, now in his seventies, said that his mother Margaret “still helps with the dinners and goes out in the garden every day. I've never seen her with a walking stick.”

Pat also talked of his mother's great health in her youth, and revealed one habit his mother has kept religiously: “All her life she'd wake up at 6 in the morning, and work all day. All her life!”

“I'd never seen her at a doctor in her younger days. And her memory! She can talk about her schooldays like it was yesterday.”

Margaret at her 103rd birthday party

Margaret attended a local national school a couple of miles from her family home, and would often take a shortcut to school through Bloomhill bog in her bare feet!

Pat said: “Of course back then every child would go around in their bare feet in the summer. There wasn't much money around back then. My mother thinks everyone is a millionaire now with their cars!”

Margaret has been a hard worker all her life. In her youth she would make a lot of her own clothes, as a young adult she worked in a big house before she got married. Once she got married to her husband Matt, she worked on the farm, a job she still loves.

“She loves animals, and she's always able to treat them when they're sick or hurt,” Pat explained.

To celebrate Margaret's special birthday, her family threw her a party. It was great fun, with presents, balloons, and cake. However, one gift stood out as special.

Margaret has received her fourth special commemorative coin from President Michael D Higgins. On her 100th birthday back in 2020, she received her first coin along with €2,540 and a congratulatory letter signed by the President.