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Dublin: 15 °C Saturday 4 July, 2020

Ireland's newest centenarian shares secrets to long life while celebrating 100th birthday

Margaret Lynch says porridge and walks are the way to go.

Image: RTÉ

IRELAND’S NEWEST CENTENARIAN says regular porridge consumption and walking is the secret to living a long-life. 

Margaret Lynch was born in the Rotunda hospital in Dublin on 3 April, 1920. She celebrated her 100th birthday at her home in Walkinstown today, surrounded, in a socially distant manner, by her family and friends.

The Dubliner was born in the midst of the Irish War of Independence and her milestone birthday comes as the coronavirus pandemic sweeps the globe.

Margaret spoke to Joe Duffy on RTÉ Radio One’s Liveline today and recounted some of the remarkable times she lived through.

World War II was still dragging on when she got married in July 1945 and she had to collect food coupons for the day’s festivities as rationing was in force in Ireland:

We were still on rations. I had to borrow food coupons from family and friends. Lived through it all.

Margaret told Duffy that they burned their ration books when the harsh measure was finally relaxed but she now regrets not keeping hers as a souvenir.

The 100-year-old is the last surviving pupil of her school and she received her Centenarian Bounty today, which includes €2,540 and a congratulatory letter from President Michael D Higgins.

As well as being a great-grandmother to 28, a grandmother to 15 and a mother to six, she is also the Sisters of Charity’s longest serving volunteer, having helped the religious institution for 54 years.

Margaret’s appearence on the radio show sparked an outpouring of reaction with floods of callers phoning in to wish her a happy birthday.

When asked for the secret to her long life, Lynch offered a simple formula: 

Keep eating your porridge. Go for walks. That’s about it.

The 100-year-old, who lives by herself, has been keeping busy during the pandemic, planting seeds and spuds in her garden. She says her real party is merely “postponed” until the crisis has passed.

In other good news, gardaí have been continuing to walk dogs and deliver essentials to people around the country whose movements have been limited by the Covid-19 restrictions.

Earlier today, the police force’s Business Continuity Team delivered supplies to students from Gaelscoil Bharra in Dublin and over 60 parcels to houses in the Cabra, Finglas, Ballymun and Blanchardstown areas of the capital.

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Ceimin Burke

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