A century of happy returns

Mrs Molly Maguire celebrates her 100th birthday with her husband John at Oakleigh Fold in North Street. Mrs Maguire who received a card from the Queen and a letter from Irish President Mary McAleese was born in Co Kerry and moved to England at 11 years old. The couple meet in Singapore, after WW2, when she serving in the RAF and he was in the Army. The couple settled in Lurgan in 1952, first in Ardboe Drive and later in Meadowbrook, Craigavon and she worked for many years in Kinairds and The Warp Knitters and John was a well known postman. INLM3911-104gc
Mrs Molly Maguire celebrates her 100th birthday with her husband John at Oakleigh Fold in North Street. Mrs Maguire who received a card from the Queen and a letter from Irish President Mary McAleese was born in Co Kerry and moved to England at 11 years old. The couple meet in Singapore, after WW2, when she serving in the RAF and he was in the Army. The couple settled in Lurgan in 1952, first in Ardboe Drive and later in Meadowbrook, Craigavon and she worked for many years in Kinairds and The Warp Knitters and John was a well known postman. INLM3911-104gc

MOLLIE Maguire celebrated 100 not out recently as she received her birthday card from the Queen.

The 100-year-old also got a letter from Irish president Mary McAleese to mark her milestone birthday on September 22.

100 year old Mrs Molly Maguire with her husband John, son Gerard, daughter in law Geraldine and friends at her party in Oakleigh Fold, North Street. INLM3911-105gc

100 year old Mrs Molly Maguire with her husband John, son Gerard, daughter in law Geraldine and friends at her party in Oakleigh Fold, North Street. INLM3911-105gc

Mollie, who currently resides at Oakleigh Fold in North Street with her husband John, was born Mollie Murphy in 1911 in Valentia Island, County Kerry, one of Ireland’s most westerly points. She had two brothers and one sister.

Her father was a herdsman to the Knight of Kerry. When the Knight returned to Stanmore in Middlesex he brought Molly’s family with him.

Mollie went to school in England and then spent six years in a convent. Having decided the convent wasn’t for her, Mollie tried various jobs before starting work at a munitions factory, helping to make parachutes at the beginning of the Second World War.

She later worked in the post office and in Woolworths before joining the RAF in 1945. She was stationed in Singapore where she met and married her husband John, who was in the army.

One of Mollie’s brothers was killed in North Africa and her other brother who went to live in New Zealand went missing in the 1980s after his wife died and was never heard from again.

Mollie and John moved back to Ireland and settled in Lurgan in 1952. They lived in Colban Crescent until they had to leave during the Troubles and move to Meadowbrook.

Mollie worked for many years in Kinairds and The Warp Knitters and John was a well known postman in Craigavon.

The pair, who are married 63 years, were keen bowlers and both played for St Anthony’s. Up until the last four years Mollie had still been an active player for the team.

Mollie and John have one son, Gerry who is married to Geraldine. They’ve given Mollie four grandchildren - Darren, David, Adam and Mark.

Mollie celebrated her 100th Birthday surrounded by her family and friends.

In addition to the help Mollie receives from John and her family, she also gets support to continue to live in her local community from her GP, Dr Fred McSorley and from the Southern Trust’s primary care services including domiciliary care support, district nursing and the specialist respiratory service.

When asked what her secret was in reaching this wonderful milestone Mollie said: “I have a great man who helps me a lot and we are very lucky to have each other.

“I really appreciate all the help I get from my GP Dr McSorley, all my home helps especially Patricia, the nurses Marguerite and Mary and also Marguerite O’Kane who visits often, does my hair and makes me look and feel 10 years younger. I also have to thank Marie Fortune at Oakleigh Fold for making us very happy here.”

Angela McVeigh, Director of Older People and Primary Care with the Southern Trust, said: “It was a privilege to meet Mollie at her 100th birthday celebrations and see how partnership working and primary care support can contribute to supporting people to continue living in their own community.”