HSE Media Release: 19 February 2021
Staff at the residential care centre, where Mrs Eileen O’ Brien (a native of Grallagh, Grange, Ardmore, Co. Waterford) is cared for in the St. Francis Unit, facilitated a small, socially distant compliant gathering in the hospital church to mark the occasion.
A number of others in the O’ Brien family bubble were also able to gather outside and wish “happy birthday” at a distance.
Eileen’s son Kieran O’ Brien and her daughters Mary Lynch and Claire Cummins were present to celebrate the milestone, with a special cake designed by Eileen’s daughter-in-law Breda O’ Brien. Eileen’s late husband John and late son Michael were remembered on the day.
Eileen O’ Brien is a grandmother of 16, has 31 great-grandchildren and was thrilled to see some of them greet her from the garden of the hospital.
As reflected by feature items on her 100th birthday cake, Eileen loves her newspapers and appreciates fine chocolate sweets and luxury biscuits. A woman of great faith, up to recent years Eileen was also a regular at 10 am Mass every morning in Ardmore. During long years of community involvement, Eileen’s talent with needle and thread can be seen in the altar cloths at both Ardmore and Grange churches. A bespoke art piece, painted by daughter-in-law Breda O’ Brien also featured in the celebration.
Dungarvan Community Hospital and the O’ Brien family were also delighted that a letter, containing birthday wishes and the “Centenarian Bounty” cheque enclosed, arrived from the President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins.
Appropriate to the occasion being marked as it was, President Higgins noted in his letter to Eileen:
“You have lived through remarkable times in the history of Ireland and the world. You have witnessed remarkable changes, in lifestyle and technological developments, unimaginable at the time of your birth in February 1921.”
The Director of Nursing at Dungarvan Community Hospital, Ms Paula French, said:
“Everyone here completed their vaccinations this week and seeing one of our residents reach 100, as we did so, was extra special. Despite the challenging times for residents, our excellent staff and their supportive families in each case, we wanted to mark the day – albeit in a limited way. I’m delighted to report that it was indeed a happy birthday for Eileen!”
Last updated on: 19 / 02 / 2021