BY MARTIN WALSH
AS birthday parties and celebrations go, it was certainly something different when Courtmacsherry lady Margaret (Maggie) Crowley celebrated her 100th birthday.
‘I wish it (Covid-19) would go away,’ she said as cameras recorded moments of her special day last Friday.
Outside her home on Wood Road, locals congregated to pay tribute to its popular resident, while almost 100 cars participated in a drive-by organised by grand daughter Colette McCarthy and led by Gda Liam Lane, with a call also from the Courtmacsherry Lifeboat.
Margaret, who has 14 grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren, recalled her childhood days and walking to school.
‘It was no fun at all, without any shoes and on a frosty morning our feet were noisy like gravel and when we got to school (in Lislevane Cross) the teacher used to let us sit by the fire, our toes were so numb.’
She added: ‘We were hungry going home from school and we would go into a farmer’s field and take some turnips and it wasn’t one at all that we would bring out. We would chop it off an edgy stone and if the first one wasn’t suitable, we would get another… they were lovely sweet turnips, they were beautiful.’
With a glint in her eyes and a laugh, she admitted: ‘But we were caught in the end.’
She’s an accomplished baker herself, and loves baking scones and fruit cakes as part of her morning routine. She got a new cooker for her 80th but it packed in a few weeks ago, and her son Jim jokingly added that she already has another new one for her 100th. In her early teens she worked in Sexton’s (where she met her late husband Jimmy) and earlier on Friday, during Mass from the Augustinian Church in Washington Street in Cork city, family friend Fr Tom Sexton paid a fitting tribute to her.