At 107 years of age Máirín cheers on Liffey canoeists
Máirín Hughes (left) with Sr Hannah and Sr Mary watch the Liffey Descent canoeists from the vantage point of Maryfield Nursing Home garden

At 107 years of age Máirín cheers on Liffey canoeists

THE scenic garden at a Chapelizod nursing home provided the perfect setting to view the Liffey Descent, reports Maurice Garvey.

Residents at Maryfield Nursing Home enjoyed the excitement of the race, including Máirín Hughes, who was 107 last May, and keeps getting younger each year.

The 32km Liffey Descent was cancelled in 2020 due to Covid, but canoeists were back in force on Saturday, making their way from Straffan in Co Kildare to Islandbridge, via descents at the weir in Lucan, Palmerstown and Chapelizod.

Maryfield’s garden is a beautiful setting and the elevated view onto the weir provides a front-row seat of the action.

Máirín is a big fan of the outdoors, going for walks everyday in Maryfield’s gardens.

Whilst this Echo reporter was preparing to leave the car-park at Maryfield for another work- related story during the summer, Máirín was seen striding out the front door of the nursing home for a walk, and a pretty fast run was neeeded in order to catch up with her.

Born in 1914, Máirín was a trailblazer for women in the workplace between the 1930s and 1960s, working in science. Along with fresh walks, she is a woman of faith, an avid fan of classical music, literature and the odd drop of sherry.

On her birthday, Maryfield commissioned a ‘pope mobile’ to bring Máirín out for a spin to the Phoenix Park, where she met President Michael D Higgins’s wife Sabrina.

The Echo contacted Áras an Uachtaráin in an effort to determine Máirín’s place in the chart of Ireland’s oldest living persons.

Last year, Áras an Uachtaráin said Máirín was approximately the tenth oldest person in  Ireland.

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