For Carndonagh women Daisy Smyth today marks a very special occasion - her 104th birthday.
When the centenarian was born in Newtowncunningham, the world was a very different place from from the one she experiences today. But the things that make Daisy tick have been ever present throughout: “Hard work, independence and lots of tea.”
The mother of five, grandmother of 13, great grandmother of 26 and great, great grandmother of a little boy called Jacob, will be the centre of attention at special birthday bash in her honour this evening.
Daisy says she’s happy to be in “good health” despite her years and that she enjoys being taken out for a “wee run” in the car every day to get ice cream.
Daisy was born in Newtowncunningham in 1908, one of seven children of Ann and John Cresswell. She lived with her family until she was around seven years-old when tragedy struck the family.
In 1915 were both her parents were struck down during the “bad flu” [epidemic] of that year and died soon afterwards. The orphans were then separated and Daisy was sent to live with her aunt and uncle Liza and John McLaughlin in Carndonagh. The other siblings were scattered among different members of the extended family and Daisy did not see them again until she was 61 years-old when her brother John visited from California and a family reunion was organised.
Daisy married her late husband, David Smyth, in 1935 and the couple had five children James, Greta, Ray, David and Maureen. Her husband passed away in 1975 followed by the couple’s eldest son James several years ago.
Tonight all her family and friends will gather to celebrate with Daisy. She was yesterday paid a special visit by the Bishop of Derry and Raphoe Ken Good, who had a birthday message for the 104 year-old.
Daughter Ray said: “He visited her on her 100th birthday and said then that he would come back to visit again and he has lived up to that promise.”