Ireland’s oldest citizens, including Kathleen Snavely (1902 - 2015) share their stories and secrets in “Older Than Ireland.”Older Than Ireland / Element Pictures

What’s the secret to living to 100 – or years past it, even?

“Older Than Ireland,” a gorgeous new documentary, collects the secrets and the life stories of 30 of Ireland’s oldest citizens, including Kathleen Snavely, the longest living Irish person on record, who passed away in July at the grand age of 113 years and 40 days.

Read more: Happy 113th birthday to the longest living Irish person in history 

IrishCentral is pleased to share with you this exclusive clip of the interview with Snavely, filmed close to her 113th birthday this past February at the nursing home in Syracuse, NY where she spent the last few years of her life. She had come to the US in 1921 at the age of 19 and never returned to Ireland.

Read more: Oldest ever Irish person bids farewell at 113 years, 140 days 

Here, Snavely, who was extremely private and preferred not to make a big fuss about her age, reminisces about one of the more outlandish replies she ever gave to the question


Exclusive interview clip with Kathleen Snavely, longest living...

Ireland’s oldest citizens share their stories and secrets in “Older Than Ireland.”

Posted by on Tuesday, September 29, 2015


“I was in the hospital a couple of years ago for a gall bladder surgery. I must have looked all right for my age. They wanted to know how old I was,” she recalls. “Well I told them. ‘Oh!!’ [they said]. They went and told the other girls. They came in and said ‘Oh, you look so good…’”

She trails off for a few seconds before remembering where she was. “’What’s your secret?’ [they asked] ‘No.’ [Kathleen said] ‘What did you do?’ ‘Well,’ I said, ‘I worked a long time, and then I turned into a prostitute.’” She has a good, long laugh to herself. “I got so sick of it. I got so sick of ‘How did you do it?’ I did.”

At a later point in the film, she does divulge one secret – moisturizer. “I want to look pretty and young, of course it's important,” she says. “I still use cream.”

Touching, hilarious and wise, “Older Than Ireland,” directed by Alex Fegan and released by Element Pictures, has many such moments.

Here’s another from Bessie Nolan, Ireland’s oldest fashionista, at 103 years old.

Bessie Nolan (103) - Ireland's oldest fashionista

Meet Bessie, Ireland's oldest Fashionista.Many of you will be familiar with Bessie Nolan, 103, from Drimnagh, Dublin from our trailer and her recent appearances. We'd like to share our favourite clip of Bessie - talking about young people's fashion these days. Bessie is definitely one of the most stylish of our participants. See more of Bessie in Older Than Ireland, in Irish Cinemas September 25.

Posted by Older Than Ireland on Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Throughout the film, the centenarians and supercentenarians interviewed reflect upon such key events as the day they got their first pair of shoes and the thrill of their first kiss. They share everything from the magic of their wedding days to the tragic loss of their loved ones, to the laughs in between.

Having witnessed a century of immense social, political and technological change, each Irish woman and man has a unique perspective on life and its true meaning.

“Older Than Ireland” was released across Ireland on September 25. Watch the full trailer below, and visit the website for further information.