Máirín slightly amused to see herself on the front page

By Maurice Garvey

SPRIGHTLY centenarian Máirín Hughes was slightly amused to see herself on the front page of The Echo.

“I don’t think I have done anything special,” said the 106-year-old, at her residence in the splendid grounds on Maryfield Nursing Home in Chapelizod.

Weir Angel compressor

Máirín view of the Weir from her room in the Maryfield Nursing Home in Chapelizod

An engaging and humble woman, her life has been eventful and fulfilling.

Máirín worked in the pathology lab in UCC’s Department of Medicine for 14 years, and also as a teacher in the Vocational School in Ballyfermot, after she relocated to Palmerstown in 1950 with her late husband Francis Hughes.

During her childhood in Kerry, she recalled spending holidays with her family on the Blasket Islands, and “going out with the men to fish for lobster”.

“We went there about three times and stayed in a house on the islands. I’d go out fishing with the men for lobster. I thought it tasted a bit ‘as leamha’, it was tasteless.”

The Blasket Islands were abandoned in 1953 with the last of the Irish speaking population evacuated.

Life was tough for residents on the island who were isolated from the mainland, and extreme weather cut them off from emergency services.

Máirín is a popular resident at Maryfield, and enjoys spending time in the scenic back garden, reading a book on one of the benches, or enjoying a view of the Weir, often waving back to residents across the way.

“I can see it from my room as well, it really is lovely,” she said.

According to Áras an Uachtaráin, Máirín is approximately the tenth oldest person in Ireland, albeit the records are dependent on families and nursing homes updating the database from month to month.

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