Amelia Murphy (seven weeks) meets her Great Grandad Francie Magarahan at his 100th birthday in Killeshandra on Friday evening. Photo: Lorraine Teevan

Big day for Francis

“I never took a drink in my life, never even touched it,” says Francis, who points to his active life as another factor in his longevity.

A little over 100 years ago a baby was born in Portlongfield just outside Killeshandra. Last week Francis Magarahan celebrated his birthday when the local community came out to mark his big day.

Centenarian Francis was in good form when contacted by theCeltadmitting that it was an impressive milestone he has passed: “A very big one, it was a terror,” he chuckles.

There was a drive-by arranged for the occasion, but hitting the tiles was not an option for the Francis who now lives on the Railway Road: “What could I do, it’s fairly limited at the moment. I had two cakes. There was lots of visitors, but they were outside.”

Francis has been vaccinated and said it was not an unpleasant experience: “It went all right, no problems with it.”

There was no celebratory champagne. “I never took a drink in my life, never even touched it,” he says and points to his active life as another factor in his longevity.

“I was a caretaker at Killeshandra chapel for 51 years. I used to mow the whole graveyard. I mowed them with a scythe. It was good work,” he said.

Though now experiencing mobility difficulties, Francis enjoys watching television in his spare time.

Daughter Myra Harkin says her dad enjoyed the day: “He’s in good spirits, his legs are a bit stiff. He has been sitting for so long and not able to get out and about because of the Covid restrictions. He’s gone a bit stiff, but out from that he is very good. His memory is very good.

“There was a big crowd came out. All separated, but everyone wanted to come along to wish him well. It was a drive around, the cars all came and blew the horn. It was started by the fire brigade,” she said.

Myra is one of Francis’s five surviving children along with Sean, Ester Hayes, Brendan and Colette McGearty to celebrate their dad’s big day.

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