An Irish man has what he believes to be the oldest Easter egg in Ireland.

John Gartlan, 45, from Kilcurry in Dundalk, Co Louth, still has the Easter egg he received when he was five years old.

Gartlan received the egg as a gift when he was a child, but the egg - now 40 years old — was "too nice" to open and eat.

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The Trebor, ‘Kitty’s Cottage’ egg, complete with toy kitten, has been kept in the fridge ever since.

“A first cousin of my mum’s, Gertie Carragher from Tullydonnell, Co Armagh, gave it to me when I was five,” the Tech Director of Net 1 Broadband told The Irish Mirror.

“At that time, Easter eggs were much plainer than they are now and not much to look at,” he said.

“But this was different. It came in a greenish yellow box with a little toy kitten beside it. I remember that it looked so nice that I didn’t want to eat it and it was put in the fridge.

“The next year, we didn’t think it would be safe to eat, so it stayed in the fridge.”

Gartlan's parents have since passed away, but forty years later, the Easter egg is still in the fridge in the same house.

Although Gartlan denies he is “sentimental,” the egg will remain in the fridge again this year despite an ongoing house cleaning to make room for his first child, which he’s expecting with wife Lena in May.

“The skip is full and I’m clearing out the attic at the minute but I’m not going to get rid of the egg. Even the new arrival won’t be allowed to get at it, when they are old enough to reach the fridge,” he laughed.

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“The egg is still wrapped in foil but there is a little bit exposed and it doesn’t look mouldy - but I still wouldn’t chance tasting it.

“I once had in the back of my head that it could be the oldest on record but there are reports of much older easter eggs out there on the internet.”

For now at least , the Kitty’s Cottage Easter Egg will stay at the back of the fridge.

Irishman John Gartlan holds his 40-year-old Easter egg.The Irish Mirror