Oldest woman in Ireland dies aged 108

Oldest woman in Ireland dies aged 108

Bridget Tierney, who is understood to have been the oldest woman in Ireland, has died aged 108.

Mrs Tierney, nee Reilly, of Drumgore, Loughduff, Co Cavan, died on Wednesday “peacefully in the tender care of her very devoted family, in her 109th year.”

She lived through two World Wars and three pandemics and was the second-oldest woman in Ireland up to last month when 109-year-old Kitty Jeffery, a native of Grenville in Co Cork, passed away at Cork University Hospital.

Bridget celebrated her 108th birthday on July 5th, 2023.


At the time her son Tom told the Anglo Celt newspaper that her longevity could be attributed to a lifetime of "hard work".

He said that his mother was “happy as Larry” once she had her children around her.

Tom stressed that his mother wasn’t one for sitting on her laurels.

Bridget raised nine children while working on the family farm, tending to cattle, pigs, and hens.


Tom (73) told the paper that 1952 was a very bad year with no turf for the family home.

His father, Patrick, who was employed in the local mill, would bring home two bags of seeds, which his mother heated to bake soda bread in.

“That’s how tough times were,” he said, explaining, “The weather was very bad and there was no turf got in the bog."

Among her hobbies was reminiscing and reciting poetry, her favourite of which was 'A Noble Boy," written by Mary Dow Brine in 1878.


Tom described his mother as a “little bopping angel” who never spent a day sick in bed in the course of her long life.

Bridget was taken care of in her home.

Her daily routine was to wake to “a good mug of tea” which Tom brought to her bedroom.

She generally asked her son “What sort of a day is it?” followed by “What have you lined out for the day?”

At 11 am it was time for porridge, followed by tea and toast, and then she started to pray.

Tom said her routine was to sit beside her window, on the outside of which were several doves that Bridget counted daily.

“There’s not as many there as there were yesterday,” she often told her son. “This would go on until dinner time,” he said, explaining, “That’s the way the day goes for her”.

Bridget was predeceased by her husband Patrick, son Vincent, daughter Patricia, her brothers James and Sonny, her sister Elizabeth, and her brother-in-law, Joe.

Mrs Tierney is survived by her daughters Mary, Margaret, Pauline, Betty and Kitty, her sons John and Tom, her sister Kathleen and her son and daughter-in-law.

She is also fondly remembered by her 30 grandchildren, 49 great-grandchildren, and four great-great-grandchildren.

Bridget will repose at her home in Drumgore on Thursday from 5 pm to 10 pm and Friday from 1 pm to 4.30 pm.

Her removal will follow to St Joseph’s Church in Loughduff to arrive at 8 pm.

Her requiem mass will take place at noon on Saturday with burial afterwards in the adjoining cemetery.

Reporting by Olivia Kelleher

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