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JOSE LUIS DA CONCEICAO/AP/Press Association Images

More of us reaching 100th birthday than ever before

A record 368 people turned 100 last year – meaning the State gave out almost €1million in bounty payments.

MORE PEOPLE IN Ireland reached the age of 100 last year than ever before, with Áras an Uachtaráin paying out a record number of traditional centenarians’ bounties.

A total of 368 people received the bounty payment of €2,540 last year – the highest number since the scheme was extended to Irish centenarians living abroad.

Eighty-five per cent of them were women, Áras an Uachtaráin said in a statement, adding that this figure does not vary greatly from year to year.

Some 214 of the centenarians were living in Ireland, with another 154 elsewhere.

Anyone resident in Ireland is eligible for the centenarian’s bounty when they turn 100, as well as any Irish citizens born here but living abroad. The total paid out last year was €934,720.

In 2010 315 people claimed the bounty, while in 2009 the figure was 303.

Centenarians receive a congratulatory letter from the President along with their bounty. From the 101st birthday and every birthday thereafter, they are also sent a commemorative coin.

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