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'Nana is a celebrity now': The story behind this heartwarming photo

Martina Corry’s image was the winner of Centra’s #LiveToday competition, celebrating living in the moment.

Martina Corry Martina Corry

This photograph was voted the winner of Centra’s #LiveToday competition, celebrating living in the moment. More than a thousand people entered – but Martina Corry, 24, from Clare won the popular vote with this striking image of her grandmother waiting at the door to go to a party.

Here, Martina tells the story behind the picture – and how her grandmother’s approach to life has influenced the family. 

THIS IS A photo of my grandmother Josie O’Brien, but Nana O’Brien to all of us. She’s 88. She was the youngest of eight, but she’s the last one remaining. It was taken in Tula, Co Clare, where she lives.

She’s waiting for me to pick her up to bring her to her niece’s birthday party. I took this photo because she was already standing there waiting for me when I arrived.

She really does say every day, “I might not be here tomorrow.” I’m 24, and she still tries to give me money every time I go down. She says “I can’t take it with me.” She’s always telling us to get out, to go and travel. That’s kind of her one regret, that she wasn’t able to travel more.

The 12 finalists in Centra's #LiveToday competition

She always wants to go places, but she can’t drive, so one of us gets roped in. She’s a great example. She loves going out and doing stuff, she definitely lives every day. She has a better social life than I do. My granddad died five years ago and that really pushed her on. Since then, she does everything.

When I told her it was in this competition, she was worried she hadn’t had her hair done, so I told her if I won, we’d both go out and get our hair and nails done together. We’re actually going this weekend. We’ve it all booked, the whole day together celebrating. Hair and makeup and then afternoon tea.

Martina Corry Martina Corry

When I told her [that this photo won], she couldn’t stop laughing. She couldn’t believe it. She feels like an absolute celebrity. It was in our local paper, and there are so many people ringing her up. She won’t even talk to me any more. I’d be talking to her and she’ll be saying ‘Oh, I have to go, the phone’s ringing…’

When we were going to Limerick that day [when the photo was taken], my car window got stuck. I had to put my jacket over the window, and she was freezing. My car is falling apart. So I’m going to put the rest of the prize money [of €1,000] towards a deposit on a new car. I’ve told her when I get one, we’ll have to go on loads of trips together.

Thank you to everyone who voted in the #LiveToday competition. The final 12 images will be published in Centra’s 2017 calendar and each received a €200 Centra gift card.

The nationwide competition marks the launch of Centra’s new brand position, Live Every Day, which encourages people to live in the moment and make the most of every day.

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