105th birthday celebrations
As a New Year dawned across the world on Thursday last a
special celebration was taking place in Bangor Erris as
family, friends and neighbours marked the 105th birthday
of Mrs. Delia Gallagher.
Born on New Years Day 1899 to proud parents James
and Bridget Ruddy. Delia has lived all her life in the village
of Shragraddy on the banks of the Owenmore River. The fact
that Delia has emulated her father by reaching the ripe
old 105 is surely a rare family longevity record and is
testament to the healthy lifestyle they enjoyed.
Delia had three brothers, John, Pat and Martin and four
sisters, Mary, Catherine, Nora and Margaret. In 1920 she
married her neighbour Michael Gallagher and they had one
daughter Mary Jane (Kilker) with whom Delia still resides
with. She worked in Hicksons in Bangor for a time
and enjoyed a life filled with hard work, health and the
happiness that is generated in a tight-knit community.
On Thursday last her birthday was marked by a visit from
the Cathaoirleach of Mayo County Council, Cllr Frank Chambers
accompanied by Cllrs Frank Leneghan and Tim Quinn. Mass
was celebrated by Fr Brian Conlon P.P. in the presence of
a large gathering of family and friends. Present to mark
the occasion were Delias daughter Mary Jane, seven
of her eight grand-children, Mary, Angela, Colette, Jimmy,
Michael, Peter and Patrick, while a message of congratulations
was received from Brendan, who was unavoidably absent for
A number of her 12 great-grandchildren were also present
as neighbours reminisced about Delias extraordinary
life. Many theories were put forward as to the reason for
her longevity with the proximity of the salmon from the
Owenmore and the odd glass of brandy receiving particular
A great neighbour who enjoyed a laugh and was never
sick a day in her life, was how one friend described
her as the celebrations got into full swing.
The fact that six of Delias neighbours are aged in
excess of eighty gives rise to the theory that the fountain
of youth may indeed be situated on the banks of the Owenmore.
Courtesy of the Western People