Northern Ireland's oldest woman Maria McQuillan has died at the age of 108. The great-grandmother from Belfast passed away peacefully in hospital earlier this week.

Known as the 'matriarch' of her family, they are deeply saddened by the death. Julie McQuilan, a granddaughter of Mrs McQuilan told the Belfast Telegraph that despite her impressive age, her sudden death on Monday came as a shock to the family. “She really was a very determined person, very strong minded,” she said.

Maria added that she was very independent and had remained in her own home right up until last week.