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Wise Words

Here's some wonderful advice from Ireland's oldest living citizens

Older Than Ireland is a documentary looking back on the lives of 30 of Ireland’s centenarians, exploring their lives and loves and histories.


THIS WEEK A documentary celebrating some of Ireland’s oldest people hits cinemas.

Older Than Ireland looks back on the lives of 30 of Ireland’s centenarians, exploring their lives and loves and histories.

Director Alex Fegan, who was also responsible for ‘The Irish Pub’, told that while some of the people he spoke to had lived through remarkable periods of history – one had met Michael Collins and another  was in Croke Park on that day in November 1920 – the most interesting and touching aspects were the more personal ones, like memories of buying their first shoes or setting eyes on the loves of their lives.

There was also some invaluable advice…

On healthy eating

I never ate a vegetable in my life and I think that’s the reason. They’re all eating too much.

- Kitty Fingleton, 100, Portarlington, Offaly

Vegetables avrene avrene

On having the craic


On worthwhile pursuits

If you only dug a hole in your back garden today and filled it in tomorrow, you’re doing yourself a good turn.

- Michael O’ Connor, 101, Killarney

172/365 - Digging a hole AdamBindslev AdamBindslev

On slowing down

Just the auld legs begin to get a bit on the dodgy side when you’re walking, you go alright but slow.

- John Mitchell, 101, Glasnevin, Dublin (originally Roscommon)


On appreciating love

heart natesh on flickr natesh on flickr

Director Alex Fegan said:

Their relationships were the most important things to them. Two ladies told me they still dream about their respective husbands.


One said:

I dreamt about him one night, and I was so delighted to see him that I flew at him and put my arms around him. But that was in my dream.

On anything but love

I don’t think I ever fell in love. I’d never lose a night’s sleep over a fella.


On lucky escapes

One man told me he was in the IRA, before it was the IRA we know now. And he said “I was lucky enough to get out of that”.

- Alex Fegan, director.

On modern technology

Telephone Tim G. Photography Tim G. Photography

I suppose our lives today are being run by computers. I don’t have any Google or Twitter, I’ve no mobile phone by the way, but I’m bloody glad to be mobile myself.

- Dr Jack Powell, 101, Nenagh, Tipperary

Element Pictures Distribution / YouTube

Written by Emer McLysaght and originally published on

DE Syndication

Read: Here’s what happened when we had gal chats with Aisling Bea

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