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Bridget's 100 reasons to celebrate 22.02.08

by Simon McGeady, Inishowen Independent

IT'S a momentous week for the townland of Cleenagh, near Cockhill, as not one but two of its native daughters turn 100.
On Friday Bridget Lynch becomes a Centenarian while a couple of days earlier Madge Doherty will celebrate her 100th birthday in Florida.
Doherty, formerly McLaughlin, moved to America 81 years ago with her Glengad-born husband Pat.
Madge’s nephew, Hughie Duffy and his wife Sadie are making the journey from Buncrana to the US for Madge’s big day. They flew out on Monday afternoon.
Madge was brought up a stones throw from Bridget Lynch, who will be opening the customary letter from the Irish President this week.
Bridget Lynch celebrates her 100th birthday. Bridget’s progeny consists of six children, 32 grandchildren, 85 great grand kids and 20 great-great grand children. Her son John gave the Inishowen Independent a run down of her life.
The second youngest of nine children, born to Hugh and Bridget Donaghey, Bridget was born on the 22nd of February 1908.
Her teenage years were spent at home helping her father with his duties. In her early twenties she
married Daniel Lynch after the couple moved to Glasgow. There the Lynch’s lived until the outbreak of World War Two when they returned to Inishowen to live a small farm in Aughaweel, near Linsfort.
To what does John attribute his mother’s longevity?
“She was always a healthy eater and never put a sweet thing in her mouth. She was very fond of home made bread and porridge. [Bridget] was fond of young people and I think that helped keep her young at heart,” he said.
Bridget lived in the family home in Aughaweel for the best part of her life, although her recent years have been spent in the Buncrana Nursing home.
Bridget was set to come home Aughaweel to live with John on Monday, ahead of her birthday celebrations this Friday which, despite the large crowd, will remain low key.
“She has asked for my brother Monsignor Patrick Lynch to say mass at 12 noon. After that there will be some tea and cake for the family, but nothing major.”
Only one of Bridget siblings is still alive. Mary, Bridget’s younger sister, turned 95 at Christmas. She lives in Boston and will not be able to make the trip home this week.
Bridget has been a widow for 35 years. In her latter years she developed a fondness for bingo and also liked to watch snooker on television. She has family members living in Chicago, Australia, England and Scotland, as well as many parts of Ireland.
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