Eileen Teresa Corr, who was counted in the 1911 Irish census at age one, will be counted once again at the age of 101, for the 2011 census, according to a story in the Irish Times. The 2011 Irish census will be offically taken on Sunday night, April 10th.
Corr, who was a close friend of James Joyce’s sister, May Joyce Monaghan, has lived through more than 100 years of Irish history.
Corr was born on October 16th, 1909, in Holles Street Hospital in Dublin. She was the second daughter of Dr James Joseph Corr from Coalisland, Co Tyrone, and Bridget (née Kennedy) from Co Tipperary. She was the fourth of nine children.
Her family moved to Scotland for a brief time until her father, a general practitioner, died when Eileen was 11 years old, and her family moved back to Ireland.
Eileen attended the Holy Faith Convent, both in Clontarf and Glasnevin. After finishing school, she studied at the National College of Art and did a secretarial course before joining the ESB’s publicity department.
She contributed articles to various magazines on art, cookery and the latest electrical household equipment.
In 1934, she married an ESB engineer named Laurence J Veale in 1934. The couple spent their honeymoon in Paris attending an exhibition on engineering and machinery. On their return, the couple lived in Churchtown in Dublin, which at the time was considered “out the country.”
Eileen was widowed at the age of 42, when Laurence died suddenly in 1951. She was left with four children aged between nine and 15. Eventually, her children would all graduate from University College Dublin.
Eileen can remember significant historical events from the country’s past, such as hanging out of a lamp post on O’Connell Street to watch the funeral of Michael Collins, witnessing atrocities during the time of the Civil War and meeting Jack Butler Yeats and his sisters Lily and Lolly.
Eileen now lives in Churchtown with her daughter Gay and dog Har.