Belfast Telegraph

Co Antrim OAP Maud, thought to be Ireland's oldest woman, dies aged 110

Maud Nicholl celebrates her birthday at the Tullyglass hotel in July 2018
Maud Nicholl celebrates her birthday at the Tullyglass hotel in July 2018
Allan Preston

By Allan Preston

A Ballymena pensioner who was said to be Ireland's oldest woman has died at the age of 110.

Maud Nicholl passed away peacefully in her sleep at Glenkeen nursing home in Randalstown on Thursday.

DUP councillor Beth Adger had been friends with Ms Nicholl and recently joined her to celebrate her 110th birthday in July.

"Her wider family are devastated. She lived a happy life, a good Christian lady who was so jolly and was laughing and carrying on, keeping everyone going at her birthday party," she said.

"She was a lovely lady and had such good neighbours when she lived up here in Woodgreen in Ballymena as well.

"They were really good to her and looked after well. It means a lot that she enjoyed good health for so long and didn't suffer at the end, passing away in her sleep. The staff at Glenkeen were very good to her as well. She even lived on her own up until about a year ago."

Eddy Kerr is the group operations manager for Hutchinson Care Homes group.

"I know the girls at Glenkeen are heartbroken at the news. She had incredible health right up to the end and we feel so privileged to have been able to care for her.

"It's amazing that she only came to us just before Christmas last year, having lived at home for all those years.

"She was so much fun to be around. I got to know her when she became the oldest person in Ireland.

"On the day of her birthday party she was very sharp-witted, and very quick with me when we met for the first time and definitely had a twinkle in her eye.

"One of the big things about her was that she was always singing and so pleasant. I think the singing is what got our girls through sometimes as well."

Born in 1909, Ms Nicholl lived through two World Wars, the sinking of the Titanic, women getting the vote as well as the partition of Ireland.

In the month she was born, aviator Louis Bleriot became the first person to fly across the English channel. It was reported at the time he only managed to make the journey from near Calais towards Dover as a drizzle from the English coast stopped his 25 horsepower Bleriot XI from overheating.

Ms Nicholl had previously told the Belfast Telegraph on her 108th birthday that her long life was down to her faith and gardening as well as no smoking, no drinking and no men.

"I don't feel my age in the slightest, in fact I have never felt my age," she said at the time.

"When I see other people younger than me and I see how they are, I know how lucky I am.

"I have a great appetite and I can eat anything. I don't think I ever missed a meal."

Having worked in a bank when she was younger, Ms Nicholl returned to her family to look after her father and brother after the death of her mother.

"I never married, I was friendly with the odd one when I was young, but I never took them too seriously," she said.

On her 106th birthday, she revealed that she had only had to visit the doctor once in her life.

Funeral details for Ms Nicholl are to be announced soon.

Belfast Telegraph


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