‘Unclaimed treasure' Bridie celebrates her 80th in style

February 19th, 2019 5:05 PM

By Kieran O'Mahony

Bridie with Bushmount chef Mick Duignan.

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Describing herself as ‘an unclaimed treasure' Drimoleague's Bridie Collins celebrated her 80th birthday in style.

DESCRIBING herself as ‘an unclaimed treasure’ Drimoleague’s Bridie Collins celebrated her 80th birthday in style at Bushmount Nursing Home in Clonakilty.

Surrounded by family, friends and former work colleagues, last Saturday’s party was one to remember for single Bridie, who organised it herself and enlisted her nephew Denis Collins to provide the musical entertainment.

‘We had a great day celebrating my 80th and we had great singers and great storytelling too and we had a great cake too,’ Bridie told The Southern Star. Bridie suffered a stroke 20 years ago and has been a resident of Bushmount for three years and says it’s a place that she enjoys.

A former supervisor with the Department of Posts and Telegraphs in the Cork and Kerry region – she was in Cape Clear when the phones changed over to  automatic. Bridie also worked for the Civil Service in Dublin for several years, working in the Government Information Service (GIS) and has lots of memories. 

‘I was working during the time of the Whiddy Disaster in Bantry in 1979 and during Pope John Paul II’s visit the same year. I was the last person to shake his hand as he departed from Shannon,’ Bridie told The Southern Star.

‘Also during Pope John Paul II’s visit the Italian press were about to spread rumours about two prominent officials here and I was trying to stop it. I also pulled a fast one over former Taoiseach Charlie Haughey one time when we were greeting the head of the EU Commission, as I already knew her before!’ Bridie recalled.

A vocal supporter of rural post offices, Bridie was keen to add that she is annoyed at the recent closures of post offices across West Cork.


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