An Irish family hope to make the Guinness book of records for their longevity – after five siblings lived to see a hundred.
The Clarke family from Loughrea in Galway have already applied to see if their family’s penchant for long life is record breaking.
Madge Clarke, now Madge Fanning through marriage, became the fifth member of the family to reach the magical hundred this year.
The Clarke family believe this is a new record with one family in the UK holding the current record with four siblings who reached 100.Madge’s son Joe Fanning told the Irish website TheJournal.ie that they have filed documents with the Guinness World Records and are awaiting a response.
He said his mother and uncles all lived full lives, with many living past the age of 100.
Charles Clarke, who lived from 1902 to 2002 was captured by the Black and Tans in 1921 and held at the Curragh barracks over a year.
Fanning explained: “He was a founder member of An Garda Siochana (the Irish police force) in 1922, and was presented with his 100th birthday chech from the Garda Commissioner in a ceremony in his honor.”
Another uncle Joe Clarke (1901 – 2002) died just one day after celebrating his 101st birthday while Pat Clarke (1903-2005) died seven months after celebrating his 101th.
Jimmy Clarke (1906-2009) emigrated to New York in 1927. Fanning explained: “He left and Hubert, his brother followed. They knew that the small farm they had in Galway could not sustain the whole family so they did what many people did and left. Jimmy died in New York four months before his 103rd birthday.”
The website reports that Madge, the last surviving member, was born in 1914 and moved to Dublin after her wedding to James Clarke in 1937.
She has eight children, seven boys and one girl, fifteen grandchildren and sixteen great grandchildren.
Fanning added: “My granny, Madge’s mother who lived to be 101, always said everything in moderation is good for you.
“My granny died tragically at 101 in a motor accident while out shopping for an outfit for one of her grandchildren’s weddings. At the time of her death she had seventy nine grandchildren.
“They were all just very easy going. My mother has no real answer to give as to why they live so long, other that they never got overly-excited or stressed out.”
Madge revealed that none of the Clarkes were big drinkers, with some of them never touching a drink.
“Family is a huge thing though. All the siblings looked after each other and after they passed on the grandchildren and great grandchildren stepped in,” said Fanning.
Made recently told Irish state broadcaster: “I had a great life. I enjoyed every minute of it.
“I say a few rosaries every day to thank God for my long life.”