28 Jun 2022

PICTURES: Nellie Purcell celebrates 104th birthday milestone in Fethard

Some woman!

Tipperary Tipperary Tipperary

Nellie Purcell photographed with her extended family on the occasion of her 104th birthday celebrated on May 24, 2022

Heartiest congratulations to Nellie Purcell, Congress Terrace, Fethard, who celebrated her 104th birthday on Tuesday, May 24, 2022.

Nellie still has a passion for flowers and attributes her long life to loving everything she did all through her life.

She now has so many lovely memories to recall. Even at this ripe old age of 104, Nellie’s mind is always active and her memory flawless.

She is a pleasure to talk to, and listen to her many humorous stories. Nellie was born at Shanbally, Lisronagh. She had three brothers and four sisters, who are now all deceased.

Nellie Purcell, Congress Terrace, Fethard

Her school days were spent in Lisronagh National School where she had so many happy friends and only one “enemy” – a very strict master whose name she can’t forget– as much as she’d like to.

These happy days came to an end at the age of thirteen, when she had to leave school and return to her home to help on the farm.

She fondly remembers travelling by horse and cart to Killerk Creamery where they brought the milk. Another of her jobs was pulping the turnips and feeding the animals. In the following years, Nellie worked for a short while in her cousin’s grocery shop in Lisronagh.

When her father died, she immediately purchased a motorbike to use for shopping in nearby Clonmel, which she drove for eleven years and was a lot more convenient than driving the horse and cart.

Happy 104th Birthday Nellie! Photographed on the occasion of her birthday celebrated on May 24, 2022. Back L-R: Paula Smith (niece), Joan Shine (niece), Gillian Shine (great-gran-niece), Michael Shine (nephew-in-law). Front L-R: Tish Varo (niece), Nellie Purcell celebrating her 104th birthday and Pamela Shine (great-gran-niece).

In 1966, Nellie purchased a premises on Burke Street, Fethard, and moved in with her sister. She was later joined by members of her extended family. She opened a shop and loved chatting with her neighbours, family and friends.

She spoke of the many happy days out at Kiltinan Castle with Mrs La Terriere and taking Evie Croome-Carroll for a spin on the back of her motorbike.

With a bright twinkle in her eyes, she says, these were the happiest days of her life. Nellie left Fethard in 1997 and moved to Abbey Meadows in Clonmel to look after her two sisters Kathleen and Biddy.

Nellie returned to Fethard in 2015 to live with her niece Joan and her husband Michael, at Congress Terrace.

Nellie is so relaxed and delighted to be back and cared for by the Shine family, she reckons she could last a few more years!

The stories are still flowing and one could only hope and pray that she will live for many more years to share what lives in this remarkable woman’s mind.

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