100-years-old Maggie Maguire with her only great grandchild, one-year-old Isabella at Maggie's birthday part on Friday last at her home in Keelogs, Inver.
On Friday evening last there was a significant celebration in Keelogs, Inver, when the community gathered to celebrate the 100th birthday of Maggie Maguire.
The bright-eyed centenarian was the centre of attraction, probably against her wishes, as the family organised a small celebration to mark the occasion.
Maggie would not have wanted a fuss, but I think she also enjoyed the attention as her family, grandchildren and many neighbours visited her.
A special Mass was celebrated by local curate Fr Seamus Gallagher but most of the events were informal with a few refreshments and plenty of conversation.
Among friends and family, Maggie was in her element. When presented with the cheque to mark the occasion from the President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins by Fr. Seamus, she said it would have been much more use to her 50 or 70 years ago.
Fr Seamus Gallagher chatting with Maggie and her great grandchild, one-year-old Isabella.
In perfect health
In perfect health, Maggie has fully recovered from a setback in January when she broke a bone in her hip. She is fully mobile again after spending only two weeks and a day in hospital; the only time she was ever in hospital.
Ironically, a few hours after Maggie celebrated her 100th birthday, local historian Bríd Ward launched her latest book in the Inver Community Centre, which is a wonderful collection of stories and history of the Inver parish, and included in the book is the story of Maggie’s life.
On Saturday when I visited her, there were still a number of well wishers calling to the house to congratulate her. The Maguire family are held in high regard, especially for their neighbourliness.
Maggie was born in the neighbouring townland of Lignaul and went to Leagan National School, which had 80 pupils at that time. After leaving school, she learned how to sprig and that something she did throughout her life. She met and married Michael Maguire on 24th April, 1947. Michael worked for the Irish Army and later became the local postman and also lived a long life, passing away in 2012 at the age of 98.
The couple had four children - John Francis, Michael, Bridget and Edward Joseph. Sadly John Francis passed away just over a couple of years ago after taking ill suddenly. He had lived at home with Maggie throughout his life.
In her interview with Bríd Ward she commented on her long life among the Inver community: “I don’t see big changes now from the time I was growing up except money is more plentiful, that’s definitely one of the changes. I like to watch the television and I follow the football and I like the soaps, Coronation Street, Emmerdale, Neighbours. I wouldn’t miss the soaps. It wouldn’t bother me if I didn’t hear the news but I wouldn’t miss the soaps, and the Mass on the radio, I listen to the Mass from Ardaghey on the radio,” said Maggie.
The National League finals were on the television on Saturday when I was there and she was keeping a close eye on things. In a football-mad house, she was able to hold her own.
When I was asked to stand for a photograph with her, she scolded her daughter-in-law to put that camera away.
Maggie Maguire was used to a simple way of life, and able to enjoy every day of that life. Not many reach 100 years and be able to continue to enjoy life to the full. Maggie certainly does.