This week I want to wish a very special Happy Birthday to Liza Mulvihill, who was 98 years old on Monday. Liza, who was born in Moyvane in 1915, has spent the last while in St Ita’s Hospital but has a mind as sharp as a young person, reads the paper every day and keeps up to date on all world affairs. She is to be admired. She featured in the 2011 edition of Vanishing Ireland. The following is quotation from that book. “That is the thing about Liza. It is completely possible to forget she was born nearly a hundred years ago. Listening to her tales, you would reasonably conclude that she is still a rather beautiful young woman gearing up for a bit of craic and the next dance night. Such as the Sunday night when her friend Kitty Walshe  persuaded a young fellow called Dick Mahony to drive them both to the Tarbert Regatta on his donkey and cart. ‘We sat down in it very proud, riding down the road to Tarbert with our donkey.’ While the girls had just enough money to get in, they did not have enough for Dick. So they tied the donkey up in a nearby farmhouse and the two pretty girls strolled up to the man on the door. They explained that they would love to attend the dance, but that ‘our driver does not like dancing’ and would not enter unless his admission was free. Hearing the word ‘driver’, the ticket man assumed this pair of damsels came by motor car and were thus persons of wealth. ‘So he said all right and we went and got Dick in as quick as we could. We enjoyed ourselves to perfection, but we had two dates, with two boys, and we didn’t want them to see us going home in our ass and cart. So we stole out before the dance was over. At two o’clock in the morning, we came on up the road in the donkey cart as happy as if we were inside of a plane.’”. I love to visit her in St. Ita’s as she is usually in good humour and has a tale to tell of her life over 90 years ago. I wish her well and hopes she reaches the 100.

Belated Happy Birthday wishes too to my neighbour Peg O’Grady who reached 88 recently and who is recovering well from a broken ankle.

Happy 1st birthday to Estuary Macra who will be celebrating with a BBQ and awards followed by DJ in the Knockdown Arms on this Friday 23rd August. All existing and new members welcome they tell us. It is great to see young people getting up and organizing things for themselves and this group which was formed last year has had lots of activities through the year. Well done to them all.

Knockdown Arms said goodbye to a longtime member of the staff recently when Linda Costello bade farewell and headed for the UK. She was a very popular person behind the bar and the Mullanes were sorry to see her go. We wish her well in her future life.