Resilient Rosses woman celebrates her mammoth 104th birthday

Congratulations from everyone to Margaret O'Donnell, 104

A resilient Rossses woman, who was born in 1916, has celebrated her 104th birthday recently.
Margaret O'Donnell was born in Dungloe in 1916 and like many before her she went to Scotland and England to secure work.
During her extensive employment history, Margaret worked for Singer, the sewing company, and she also worked in a public house.
Margaret worked alongside her sister Mary during the second world war, in a public house, and despite it being a difficult time, Mary and Margaret made the best of their time together.
The two sisters grew up in Ireland and wanted to continue to attend Mass so they asked the owner of the public house if they could be facilitated with bicycles in order to attend Mass.
The two ladies were each given a bicycle and could often be seen making their way to Mass on a Sunday morning. The two sisters were very close.

‘Second mother’
Mary’s son, Conail McBrearty, said that his aunt, Margaret, was like a “second mother” to their family.
She lived next door to them in Clydebank, Glasgow during her tenure in Scotland.
Margaret did not marry but spent her life caring for many people around her during her time in Scotland and on her return to Ireland.
She had an exceptional kind heart and was also generous with her time.
“She was like a second mother to us and she lived next door to us in Clydebank for many years,” Conail said.


In 1978, Margaret returned home to Dungloe. She lived in the family home initially and then her brother built a house and she moved closer to the Rosses town.
She left Dungloe in 2016.
She was an exceptionally hard worker and she looked after her mother, Margaret Mary née Brennan, O'Donnell and her aunt and uncle.
Margaret's mother lived until she was 98 years of age.  She also was a hard worker and is reputed to have walked to Derry to work during her lifetime. During that period many were sent into service in areas, such as, Derry and Letterkenny.
They tended to work on large farms.

Conail visits his aunt on many occasions during the year and enjoys seeing her.
“She is a huge Celtic supporter and always asks how Celtic got on,” he said.
Margaret now resides in the nursing home in Gaoth Dobhair.
On February 3, Margaret celebrated her 104th birthday among family and friends. She also received a medal from the President - she is exceptionally proud of this medal. 

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