A County Antrim woman who just celebrated her 108th birthday says she has only visited a doctor once in her entire lifetime. Born in 1909, Maud Nicholl celebrated here latest birthday early this month surrounded by friends and family in Ballymena.

Nicholl, one of the oldest people in Northern Ireland, has seen four kings and one queen on the throne, 26 different British Prime Ministers and nine Presidents of Ireland.

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, Nicholl said: "I don't feel my age in the slightest, in fact I have never felt my age.

"I have never had any illnesses. I went to see the doctor once and I had to get an antibiotic, but that was all.

"When I see other people, younger than me and I see how they are, I know how lucky I am.

"I have a great appetite and I can eat anything. I don't think I ever missed a meal.

"My father loved to grow vegetables, we had a garden full of vegetables so we never went short. When I was growing up where I lived was the countryside and I loved to go for long walks in the fresh air.

"I never had a bicycle. I was able to ride one but I never got one, so I walked everywhere.

"I never learned to drive. My brother had a car, but he wouldn't trust me with it so I never learned.

"He was very good and would take me out and take me anywhere I wanted to go.

"We would go out along the coast. I like Carnlough and the Glens of Antrim."

Nicholl said she was a good student at school and maintains a love of reading to this day.

She added: "I always liked school and I was a good pupil. I never had any trouble going to school.

"I learned to read and that stayed with me. I read all sorts of books and I used to wrote poetry, but I don't do that any longer.

"I left school when I was 16 and then I worked a while in Ballymena for a manufacturers and I liked it, the girls were very nice.

"But then my mother died and I had to stay at home and look after my father and my brother.

"I never married, I was friendly with the odd one when I was young, but I never took them too seriously."

Nicholl, who still lives alone in her home in Ballymena, maintains a level of independence unusual for her age.

She is also a much loved member of her community. She says she has a wide circle of friends who stop by every day to make sure she is well.

Nicholl said: "They are all very good to me - I couldn't have better neighbors and the Church elders are always popping in to see me, too.

"Maureen, my second cousin, is very good to me.

"I call her bossy boots but I don't mean it. She organized this party for me."

H/T Belfast Telegraph