Oldest Irish person Nora Canavan, 108, passes away

'Encouraging parishioner' Nora Canavan with Fr Cunningham.

Ireland’s oldest citizen, Nora Canavan from Co Clare, has passed away aged 108.

The mother of seven celebrated her 108th birthday last March. A grandmother of 10, Nora was a great-grandmother to eight and she had two great-great-grandchildren.

She was lovingly cared for in her later years by her daughter-in-law Marie Canavan at the family farm in Doolin, Co Clare.

Nora was known throughout the locality for her craft skills, which included knitting and crochet work.

Paying tribute, local priest Fr Conor Cunningham said Nora was a woman of great faith.

“Nora was full of gratitude to God for her many years of faith, family, and friendship,” he said. “She was a Christian lady of exemplary fidelity in following Jesus and was an outstandingly supportive and encouraging parishioner.”

Nora was born into a farming family at Monreel, Ennistymon, on March 9, 1908.

In an interview with the Clare Oral History and Folklore group, Nora said her earliest memory was the birth of her younger sister. Growing up, she said, they used to run to the local shop, Doherty’s, to buy sweets from a tin can. In the same interview, she recalled her experience of the War of Independence.

“You couldn’t have a spark of light, the windows had to be covered over,” she said.

Nora married Stephen Canavan from nearby Doolin.

Nora will be laid to rest after funeral Mass at the Holy Rosary Church, Doolin, at noon tomorrow.


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