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Witness to highs and lows of Londonderry dies at the age of 105

By Donna Deeney

Published 02/10/2015

Helped others: Amy Ferris
Helped others: Amy Ferris

Londonderry's oldest citizen has died at the age of 105.

Amy Ferris will be laid to rest today in Derry City Cemetery after Requiem Mass at Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Steelstown.

Amy spent her last few years at Brooklands Nursing home. She is survived by daughters Delma, Astrid, Ann, and predeceased by son Ivor and husband Andy.

Amy lived through some memorable moments in Derry history.

They included Amelia Earhart's record-breaking transatlantic flight when she touched down in a field in Ballyarnett; Derry's significant role in the Battle of the Atlantic and the U-Boat surrender.

Amy kept a 'song in her heart' and was passionate about helping others, said daughter Delma.

Speaking as the family prepared to celebrate their mother's 105th birthday earlier this year, Delma said: "My mother's first job was as a monitor, which is like a teaching assistant, at the Rosemount Girls school, but family finances prevented her from going on to teaching training college.

"She married the love of her life, my father Andy, in London but returned here after their home was bombed during the blitz.

"She was widowed young and left with four children to bring up, so she had to go out to work."

Amy helped fundraising events for St Mary's parish in Creggan and was a tireless worker for the Derry Credit Union.

Some of the worst events of the Troubles happened in Derry during Amy's life, including the Battle of the Bogside and Bloody Sunday, but the city had much to celebrate as well.

Amy was 40 when Dana won the Eurovision Song Contest with All Kinds of Everything and a sprightly 80 when the city produced the first of two Nobel Laureates - in 1995 when Seamus Heaney won the prize for literature and three years later, John Hume received the Nobel Peace Prize. More recently, Amy witnessed her city become the UK capital of Culture in 2013.

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