Ireland's oldest woman has offered a touching message of hope and resilience on her 107th birthday.
Nancy Stewart, from Clonard in County Meath, turned 107 on Friday, Oct. 16, and shared a long message of hope with the people of Ireland in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Stewart, who has lived through the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918-1920 and both World Wars, recorded the message from her home with her granddaughter Louise.
"Imagine turning 107 in a world pandemic. This definitely is something very unusual even for me and all I have been through," Stewart said at the beginning of the message.
She reflected on her long life, noting that she has lived in her current home for 83 years and lived to see the deaths of her twin daughters, Margaret and Anne, in 2007 and 2010 respectively.
Stewart has three living daughters and one living son in addition to a staggering 84 grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren, and said she was writing to send Irish people her love and her prayers.
"We are in a very difficult time at the moment in our country, in our lives and in our world. But I reach out to you in this letter to offer you hope, faith and belief that everything will be okay in the end," Stewart wrote.
"Sadly, for the moment, we can no longer stretch out to a friend and embrace them nor can we call to each other's houses, but I'm here to share my story. I have been in lockdown in my house since March, alongside my granddaughter Louise and even though it has been a tough time, we have got through it together."
In a stirring message of hope, Stewart said: "I'm the living proof that we can survive and in years to come, this will just be a distant memory."
She also advised people to look after their mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"If you are feeling low, make sure to try call someone or even go for a walk," she said.
"This is a hard time for everyone but please make sure you keep yourself well and wear your mask."