Oldest person on island of Ireland dies

Published Saturday, 26 July 2014
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The oldest person on the island of Ireland, a woman aged 108, has passed away in Ballynahinch, Co Down.

A statement from St Patrick's Catholic Church confirmed that Mrs Elizabeth Heaney died on Saturday.

The mother-of-seven from the Belfast Road lived in the town all her life. She was a grandmother of 14 children, great grandmother of 24 and great great grandmother of one.

She was baptised at the church over 100 years ago.

"It is with much regret that we announce the death today, 26 July 2014, of Ireland's most senior citizen and Magheradroll's most senior parishioner in her 108th year," a statement said.

"We extend our sympathy to her large extended family and friends."

Canon Gerard McCrory from the church said Elizabeth was well-known in the area.

He said she was an alert woman who had even been driving well into her 90s.

"People will be very disappointed and upset to hear of her death because she had gained not only local but national publicity as the oldest person in Ireland," he said.

"She would be one of the few people living in this area whose name certainly would be known far and wide.

"I've always been told that one of the reasons she lived so long was that she never worried about things, she had a very strong faith in God.

"She was very fortunate that she finished her life living in her own home, she was well attended by her family and was well cared for."

He added: "It was nice for me as a parish priest to be able to say to people 'I'm looking after the oldest person in Ireland'."

© UTV News
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11 Comments
Sean in Cork wrote (144 days ago):
May she rest in peace. A woman called margaret o connell who is 108 and a few months older is still living i believe. living in co. kildare.
D in belfast wrote (144 days ago):
Rest in peace Granny Heany...
Robert in Thailand wrote (144 days ago):
RIP......gid bless
Brian Robbie in Holywood wrote (145 days ago):
Who is now the oldest person. I know a lady who was 107 in May 2014
Joan in Co Down wrote (145 days ago):
Sad loss of the late beloved Elizabeth Heaney RIP. Now in arms of our Shepherd Jesus Christ. My condolence to your caring family.
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