Limerick nun going strong at 105

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105 year-old Sister Patricia O'Neill.

THERE was a celebration for a very special resident of McAuley House nursing home in Limerick City when Sr Patricia O’Neill marked her 105th birthday with staff, residents and family.

And she is not the only resident to reach a very great age, Stephanie McMahon, Director of Nursing told the Limerick Post.

“We have several residents who have reached the centenary and more. They are amazing,” she said.

Sr Patricia was born in Bracknagh, Rathangan County Kildare, the second eldest of four children, two boys and two girls. Both Patricia and her sister, whom she was very close to, became religious sisters. Her sister was a member of the Poor Clares religious order in Carlow. Patricia is the only surviving sibling today.

Patricia entered the Sisters of Mercy in 1951 and has spent all of those years in the order. Having also trained as a nurse, Sr Patricia worked professionally as a staff nurse and gave many years of voluntary work within the health service.

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She became a resident of Catherine McAuley House Nursing home in 2009 “and when her health allowed she was the life and soul of the house,” Ms McMahon said.

“Sr Patricia always had a great attitude towards life. She was noted for having a great sense of humour, she enjoyed her life and loved to travel around Ireland.

“She was a wonderfully creative individual and was gifted in arts and crafts ,she would use her talents to raise funds for the missions and to help the poor. Patricia always took great interest in her family. She loved music and loved to sing. Patricia would attribute her long life to a good diet and not taking life too seriously”.

Her 105th Birthday was celebrated with a morning Mass in the Nursing Home chapel where the priest presented her with her with her 4th special commemorative coin from the President of Ireland along with a congratulatory letter signed by the President. A new coin is designed for each year.

Later that afternoon Sr Patricia enjoyed a celebratory meal and a party for staff and residents, followed by a sing-song.

She was presented by the Director of Nursing with a bouquet of flowers from her late sister’s religious order the Poor Clares, a gift from her Sisters of Mercy and a gift from the leadership team.