Clonmel woman Mary Ann turns 104!

Sian Moloughney


Sian Moloughney

May Maxwell celebrating her 104th birthday with her family Sophie Charles, William Maxwell, May Maxwell, thomas Charles, Sandra Charles, daniel Charles,
A lady who was born in Clonmel in 1911 marked her 104th birthday last weekend.

A lady who was born in Clonmel in 1911 marked her 104th birthday last weekend.

Special celebrations took place for birthday girl Mary Ann Maxwell at the Cottage Nursing Home, where she was surrounded by generations of her family.

And the festivities won’t end there - another celebration will take place at the home later this week when Mary Ann will join with others living there who have a birthday around this time.

Son Billy lead the family as they wished Mary Ann many more healthy years and he was joined by several generations of her family, including grandchildren and great grandchildren, last Saturday. There was a lovely birthday cake, flowers and cards, a festive banner and snacks for everyone. Mary had a wonderful day.

Born Mary Ann Leo, to a family in the King Street Flats in 1911, Mary led an active and varied life that took her far from her home town for many years, before her return to Clonmel. Mary Ann was born on April 2, 1911, the eldest of the five children of Billy and Annie Leo, who lived at 22 The Flats. She grew up with three brothers, Jackie, Christy and Billy and a sister Addie.

In 1935, Mary Ann married Dubliner Patrick Maxwell and the couple moved there. They had three children – Elizabeth (Betty Dunphy), William (Billy) and Patrick (Paddy). They moved to England after the war, in 1945, where they lived in Keston, Kent, for 62 years.

Mary Ann worked at several jobs during those 62 years and what must be one of the secrets to her long and healthy life – she retired at the ‘young’ age of 84!

Her youngest son, Patrick, died at the age of 21, 50 years ago in 1961. Mary Ann lost her husband in 1980, 31 years ago. Daughter Betty, who was married and lived in Clonmel, passed away in 2005.

Mary Ann and her son Billy moved back to Ireland in April 2010. She moved in to the Cottage Nursing Home, in Irishtown, just before her 100th birthday.