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Joe Fanning
Family ties

Five members of this Galway family lived to see 100 and it's got them a Guinness World Record

Joe, Charles, Pat, James and Madge all have 504 years of life between them.

THE CLARKE FAMILY from County Galway have officially become the longest living group of siblings, with five of the 13 brothers and sisters all living to celebrate their 100th birthdays.

Irish Central reports that after months of campaigning by their relatives, the siblings’ achievement was finally recognised by the Guinness Book of World Records last month.

The Clarke siblings were born and raised on a cattle farm in Loughrea, Co. Galway. There was an early precedent for their astounding longevity – their mother, Margaret, also lived to be 100.

Last year, told the story of Joe, Charles, Pat, James and Madge who have 504 years of life between them.

Joe the eldest, lived to be 101. Charlie lived to 100, Pat died at 102, and James died in 2009 at the age of 103.

clarkesfag The Clarke Family in 1974

James, who emigrated to the US and lived in The Bronx, celebrated his 100th birthday there in 2006. At the time, the Clarke family thought they had secured the record because of their mother’s wonderfully long life, only to learn that it strictly applied to siblings.

Madge caught up with her brothers last year, when she celebrated her 100th birthday. Shortly after, her son Joe Fanning went about collecting all the information necessary to prove their claim.

Fanning told last year that all his relatives were laid back.

“They were all just very easy going,” explained Joe.

He said his mother has no real answer to give as to why they live so long, other that they never got overly-excited or stressed out,” said Joe.

Madge also said none of them were big drinkers, with some of them never touching a drink.

“Family is a huge thing though. All the siblings looked after each other and after they passed on the grandchildren and great grandchildren stepped in,” said Joe.

family-21-630x322 The Clarke family gathered around Madge on her 100th birthday.

At her 100th birthday party, his mother’s words of advice were:

Never give out. . . . You never give out about anybody or speak badly about anybody; you speak nicely about everyone.

The Clarke family’s record stands a good chance of expanding in two years: the youngest and last remaining Clarke, Sheila, is going strong at 98 years old.

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