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1913 isn’t that far away… January 12, 2021

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

It’s odd, reading this piece on RTÉ about one of the oldest people on this island, Michael J O’Connor who is 107 and lives in Muckross, Co. Kerry. The simple array of facts is remarkable:

Born in Glencar, Kerry in 1913, Michael was five when World War I ended… is also one of the oldest survivors of the last great pandemic to hit Europe, the Spanish flu, which he contracted as a young boy.

Tragically his mother succumbed to the Spanish flu. But he has gone on to have a very full and interesting life, including working in shipping during World War Two. And he keeps on going.

We often mention 1913 and 1916 and so on and those dates I think to many of us seem very distant. And yet… they’re quite literally still within living memory for a number of people.


1. banjoagbeanjoe - January 12, 2021

Two things.

The death notice for Michael Collins Cronin, son of Felix Cronin and Kitty Kiernan, appeared in the Irish Times last Thursday. He died aged 91.

And a few weeks ago I was in the Mater visiting my next door neighbour. She’s 96. Lived in Glasnevin all her life. We got talking about this and that. She loves her Dublin and her history. She mentioned her granny who always avoided crowds … but she said “she made an exception for Parnell’s funeral. she went down to Westmoreland St. and stood among the crowd and watched the cortege pass by”. So I was talking to a woman who talked to a woman who was at Parnell’s funeral.

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WorldbyStorm - January 12, 2021

Love it. That’s a clear human connection between periods of time which seem much further apart than we might think.


2. roddy - January 12, 2021

Before he died last year,a neighbour of mine told me in great detail about a training camp in the Sperrins led by Dan Breen.He had got all the details from an elderly shopkeeper who was there and who I remember well.Makes me feel old!

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