The secret to a long and healthy life is plenty of warm milk and a good walk every single day, according to Cork resident Lucy Carty. And she should know — the lively pensioner turns 105 today.
With a twinkle in her eye, Lucy thanked everyone for coming to see her and reminisced about the day she hit triple digits.
Having received a special cheque for €2,540 from President Higgins, Lucy spent the lot on a huge party in the Clarion Hotel.
With 170 friends and family members, the celebration was unrestrained to say the least. Lucy herself was out until 2am, and had to be persuaded to go to bed.
“She was like a young one that night, she wouldn’t go to bed. She loves parties, loves them,” said her third cousin Sean Malone who visits Lucy every year around her birthday. “She’s always seeing the bright side of everything, never worries, never lets anything get her down.”
Born in Glenmalure in Wicklow in 1910, Lucy is one of Ireland’s oldest people.
“I never thought I would celebrate 105 years, but here I am,” she said.
The eldest of nine, all of Lucy’s siblings lived well into old age, proving that milk and walks aside, good genes must surely play a part in a person’s longevity.
Lucy’s 91-year-old sister Teresa Twomey is the youngest of the nine children and is Lucy’s only surviving sibling.
She regularly comes to visit Lucy at Marymount University Hospital where she has been living since she turned 101. Before this, Lucy was living in Bishopstown, Co Cork.
Looking back on her schooldays, Lucy recalled the corporal punishment regularly inflicted upon students and said she’s glad “that kind of thing” doesn’t happen any more.
“If you were late or you hadn’t learned your lessons you’d get four slaps on one hand and four slaps on the other hand,” she said.
“And then when evening comes and you haven’t your lessons learned you’re stuck up by the wall and the teacher goes and has her lunch or whatever and leaves you. Isn’t that nice?”
But with those days far behind her, Lucy spends her days at Marymount playing Bingo, sewing hats and listening to music. She also dabbles in a bit of flower arranging and said the Pansy is her favourite plant.
“Lucy is a very nice lady and very interesting. I love sitting down with her and talking about her life. She’s incredibly alert,” said Patricia McCarthy from Marymount University Hospital.
“She’s a character but she pretends she’s not. She has a great spirit, she really does.”
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