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Dublin: 18 °C Wednesday 20 June, 2018
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This 105-year-old Dublin woman told us her secrets to a long and healthy life

“I had a very happy life all the time.”

 Elizabeth Dempsey with family member Miriam Scott.
Elizabeth Dempsey with family member Miriam Scott.

“PLENTY OF FRESH air, plenty of good food and an odd sherry”, that’s the secret to living a long and healthy life according to Elizabeth Dempsey.

The Dublin woman celebrated her 105th birthday this afternoon surrounded by her family at Ailesbury Nursing Home in Sandymount.

When asked what the key to living such a long life was, Elizabeth, better known as Lizzy, told TheJournal.ie that she didn’t get stressed:

“I don’t know…it’s just that I had a very even existence, I just worked nice and quietly.

I had a nice calm sort of life and a nice job.

Lizzy worked at a solicitor’s office until she was 75. She says she is most proud of her career – starting as a junior, getting her degrees and working up to head of the department in Cartan O’Meara & Kieran.

90384843 Elizabeth Dempsey with Miriam Scott and Anita Fitzgibbon

Lizzy also revealed that she always used expensive creams and good make-up – Oil of Olay cream and Revlon make-up.

“I was always very particular about that and very particular about my hair and skin.”

She usually bought her expensive creams from Maher’s Chemist on Baggot Street and she still enjoys having her hair set weekly and the odd glass of sherry.

I’m so happy to be here in this home, I’m so content. I’m not scared of being left in the world, I’m awfully happy to be here in this world.

Lizzy never married but she idolises her four nephews and three nieces. Her nephew Simon even flew in from LA to be with there for her birthday.

Her nephew Denis Costello told TheJournal.ie that his aunt Lizzy was always relaxed and he never saw her stressed.

He also described how it can be for hard for Lizzy as her two younger sisters have passed away – and a good friend died in the past few months.

“It’s hard, especially when your friends are gone. She’s happy though.

She eats her breakfast and looks forward to her 11 o’clock coffee. Lizzy may be 105 but she looks forward to her cappuccino like all of us.

“She still has her hair done and her nails done and everything.”

When asked about the happiest time of her life, Lizzy told TheJournal.ie:

I had a very happy life all the time but probably when I was on my holidays. The furthest I went was Malta and it was lovely.

“It was just after the war and they were just coming around. They had beautiful cathedrals.

“We went through Austria in the 1950s and it was a beautiful country, in those days it wasn’t plane it was train and boat and I wasn’t a good sailor.”

Lizzy’s birthday celebration at Ailesbury Nursing Home coincides with Nursing Homes Week 2015. Nearly 23,000 residents across Ireland receive care from private and voluntary nursing homes.

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