Máirín Hughes, who was born in Belfast in 1914, marked her impressive 109th birthday in Dublin on Monday, May 22.
Hughes celebrated her birthday with her community at Maryfield Nursing Home in Chapelizod, Dublin where a special mass was offered on Monday morning.
After noting that Hughes has "lived at the time of ten popes," the priest said during the mass: "Loving truth, loving goodness, being patient, being kind, all that is lovely - certainly, that is you, Máirín, from the very beginning to this wonderful day, always loving what is good and noble and true and beautiful, a model indeed for all of us."
Congratulations to our amazing Máirín Hughes who is 109 years young today. We will be starting the day with her special birthday mass at 11.15am. Join us on the attached link https://churchmedia.tv/chapelzoidPosted by Maryfield Nursing Home on Monday, May 22, 2023
During a birthday reception in Maryfield Nursing Home, Hughes was presented with a medal commemorating her birthday to add to her "precious" collection
“You have lived through remarkable times in the history of Ireland and the world," a letter accompanying the medal said.
“You have witnessed remarkable changes, unimaginable at the time of your birth in 1914."
Watch: Ireland’s oldest woman Máirín Hughes celebrated her 109 birthday at Maryfield Nursing Home in Chapelizod, Dublin with a trip on the Vintage Tea Trips bus along with fellow residents.https://t.co/yjFJMiGyAo pic.twitter.com/WuS0pdThDp— The Irish Times (@IrishTimes) May 23, 2023
Later, the birthday girl was treated to a Dublin jaunt on a Vintage Tea Trips bus ride, which featured a rousing singsong of “Molly Malone.”
"The most incredible day on board celebrating Máirín Hughes 109th birthday," Vintage Tea Trips said in a social media post.
"We sang songs, shared stories and she even got sung happy birthday by a group of German tourists in Phoenix Park who all shook her hand and wished her happy birthday!"
Vintage Tea Trips said it was "an honour and a privilege to host Mairin’s party and we wish her many more happy birthdays to come!"
The most incredible day on board celebrating Mairin Hughes 109th birthday 🎉 Yes, you read that right 1️⃣0️⃣9️⃣ years...Posted by Vintage Tea Trips on Monday, May 22, 2023
Born in Belfast in 1914, Hughes and her family lived in Dublin for a short time before settling in Killarney, Co Kerry in 1918. She's previously shared her memories of the Spanish Flu as well as the Black and Tans.
In the 1930s, Hughes moved to Cork to study science at University College Cork, something that was "unusual" for women at the time. She graduated with a BSc in 1935 before going on to work as a chemist in UCC's medical lab for 16 years.
She remained in the job until 1950 when she met her husband Frank and the couple moved to Dublin, prompting her to take up a job as a teacher.
On Monday, Hughes told The Irish Times that she still enjoys reading, listening to music, and playing Scrabble.
“I like just living,” she said, sweetly adding, “I’m rich in the company I have.”
"It’s nice to get cards and that sort of thing," the birthday girl further told the PA News Agency on Monday. "It’s nice to know that people remember you.”