Marmie’s kind birthday gesture

editorial image

A warm hearted Derry woman has donated over €1,000 to the RNLI for her 90th birthday.

Marmie (Margaret) Gillespie (nee Nicell), is originally from Park Avenue, but now lives in Shroove and has been a dedicated fundraiser for the RNLI for over 40 years.

Her son, George, said his mother had all but retired from fundraising, but decided to use her 90th birthday celebrations as her “swan song” and asked for donations in lieu of presents.

“She did a lot of fundraising through Greencastle Golf Club over the years, including car boot sales on the beach. She has commendations from the RNLI for all of her fundraising,” he declared.

Speaking to the ‘Journal’, Marmie said fundraising for the RNLI was a “big part” of her life.

“I have always helped out fundraising for the RNLI. All the tragedies over the years have been horrendous. The crews are ready to go whenever. They are wonderful, brave people.”

Marmie turned 90 years young on April 15 past, and celebrated with an open house at her home in Shroove.

Some 120 people from the community, including her fellow ICA members, turned out to celebrate.

“I look back on my life and I wonder how I got to 90,” she said.

“Time flies in. I’ve had a comfortable life, but time goes too fast. We had a lovely day here for my birthday,” she recalled.

Marmie married Dan Gillespie, who was a seaman, and lived in Derry for a number of years before moving to Dan’s native Shroove.

Dan has sadly passed away, but Marmie has her son George, daughters Isobel, Helena, Frances, Margaret and Teresa close by. She also is kept busy with 14 grandchildren and four great grandchildren. “I see them all often, that’s the lovely part of it,” she concluded.