Mayor Ivan Keatley with Mary at the special centenarian ceremony at Kildare County Council last year
One of Kildare’s oldest citizens passed away last week at the remarkable age of 104.
Mary O’Meara (née Casey) of Kinnefad, Co Kildare, was born in Clonaslee, Co Laois on June 8 1913, and she bid farewell to this world over a century later at Sancta Maria Nursing Home, Kinnegad, Co Westmeath, on April 5 last.
Wife to John O’Meara (pre-deceased), they had six children — John and Margaret (both pre-deceased), Gerry, Frank, Joe and Tim.
She was grandmother to 17 grandchildren and great-grandmother to six great-grandchildren.
Of proud Laois farming stock, she found a kindred spirit when she wed farmer John O’Meara in Kinnefad (near Edenderry and Carbury) in 1944.
She was a person of strong religious faith, and a believer in the virtues of hard work and education, and these were values she passed on to her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Born when Ireland was not yet an independent state, she had a personal stake in the current Decade of Centenaries 1912-1922.
She lived through a turbulent time encompassing the 1916 Rising and 1919-21 War of Independence, and in later life recalled vivid memories of seeing British troops departing Laois and hearing of Michael Collins’ death from a Clonaslee neighbour — “The Big Fella was knocked down last night”.
In 2016, she was honoured by a presentation from Kildare County Council as the oldest living person in County Kildare.
A person of strong faith, she retained a keen interest in politics and current affairs, and cast her last vote in the 2016 general election, at the age of 102.
She remained physically active almost until her hundredth year. She was much loved and will be greatly missed by all who knew her.