IRELAND’S OLDEST VOTER… MOLLY (103) SETS UNIQUE GENERAL ELECTION RECORD!

4 March 2016 No Comments by The Northern Standard

By PATSY McARDLE

A young-at-heart Castleblayney lady set a unique national record as the eldest voter in the country at last Friday’s General Election!

Mrs Molly Loughman, who celebrated her 103rd birthday on Tuesday week last, was in a jovial mood as she joked with the presiding officer and staff, as well as with photographers and well-wishers, after voting in a booth in her home town .

The widowed mother-of–four, whose husband, James, died in 1955,   was assisted to the booth in her wheelchair by staff at St. Mary’s Hospital, Castleblayney, where she has been domiciled for a number of years. She was a former member of staff at the hospital prior to her retirement from service as a carer at the age of 65.

Molly is a native of Killycrum, just outside Castleblayney, and was one of a family of five, with only one sister, Brigid, aged 97, still alive, and residing in England. Two of her four sons—Thomas and Sean—live in the local area but the other two, Brendan and Cathal, are deceased.

Cheerfully chatting to the caring trio of attendants at   St. Mary’s Hospital—Margaret McNally, Ann Marie Campbell, and Loretto McKenna—as she was escorted along the corridors to the polling station, which also catered for the electorate on the west side of the town and those resident at St. Mary’s care centre, Molly said: “I always take a big interest in elections and I make sure that I vote”.

“I’ve even got my hair done for today, so that I can look my best”.

“I have seen many changes over the years—I have voted in every election that took place since my young days and I believe it was very important to do that”.

“Everyone should vote, and I hope I’ll still be around to do it again!”.

And her recipe for a long life?   “There’s nothing like good home-baked bread—and plenty of craic”, she said.

Local polling booth presiding officer Mr. Paddy Carragher, a former town clerk in Castleblayney, said: “Molly is really a wonderful lady and we were all delighted to see her showing such interest in getting to the booth to vote”.

“She still takes a good interest in local affairs and has set a record for Castleblayney, and for the country, as one of the eldest voters taking part in any General Election… it was a great achievement by a truly great lady”.

  •  Incidentally, Molly was the recipient of hundreds of congratulatory messages on Tuesday week last when a special birthday party was organised to mark her 103rd birthday by family members, staff, and friends at St. Mary’s Hospital in Castleblayney.
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