A DONOUGHMORE farmer, who was born just after the Spanish flu in 1918, celebrated his 101st birthday with a visit from some new-born calves.
Denis Dilworth, who is a resident at Cramer’s Court nursing home in Belgooly, was 101 on February 25th and the team there ensured he had a birthday to remember.
‘Denis, who hails from Vicarstown, is a man who farmed all his life and loves the land, so we put out a call to his family, friends, neighbours and sporting colleagues who inundated us with video messages,’ said Teresa O’Donovan, activities co-ordinator at the nursing home.
‘It could be clearly seen from the messages how much his grandchildren love him and his grandson Donnacha even shares the same birthday as him.’
Denis even got a birthday shout out on RTÉ’s Today show last week and has, in recent weeks, got both his Pfizer vaccines for Covid-19.
Teresa said that seasonal stimuli is a very important part of elder care so with plenty of new-born calves on farms at this time of the year, it wasn’t difficult to arrange for some to come to Denis, as well as a brand new tractor.
‘Local councillor and farmer Alan Coleman was more than happy to oblige and he brought in some week-old calves for Denis to see. Local farmer Colm Sheehan also brought in his new Holland tractor which Denis was delighted with.’
By a strange coincidence, Alan’s youngest son Darragh, who is eight-years-old, also shares the same birthday as Denis.
‘Denis was born just after the Spanish flu, the last pandemic we had, and who knew that 101 years later he would be facing another worldwide pandemic. But Denis is as happy as he would be back on his own farm, with his calves and tractor.’