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The Old Irish

March 20, 2014 2 min read

With almost 400 people over age 100 in Ireland currently, 85% of them women, it seems we could learn a few things from the Irish. There’s even been a Centenarian Bounty put in place since 2006 – any Ireland native receives €2,540 and a congratulatory letter signed by the President on their 100th birthday. The tradition was originally started by Douglas Hyde back in 1940 when the gift was £5. irishDouglas-Hyde My family is Nova Scotian, and mostly Irish – a very diluted blood line of Irish, but still – and I have several relatives who have lived to be a ripe old age, some even into their 100s. Our memories may go, but our general mental faculties and physical capabilities remain intact, and we seem to be jolly until the end. [caption id="attachment_43942" align="alignnone" width="620"]100 year old Bridget Allen with her family 100 year old Bridget Allen with her family[/caption] [caption id="attachment_43943" align="alignnone" width="282"]John Lenihan, 100 years young. John Lenihan, 100 years young.[/caption] So what is the secret to this Celtic longevity? Reading a few different reports or blogs, and from personal family experience here’s what I can glean. -       Drinking in moderation. Alright, some of you may be thinking “In moderation? The Irish?” and that’s true, but when you get to be about 70, your partying ways tend to die down so you only enjoy the occasional brandy or sherry, and as we know, drinking in moderation is a healthy choice – although of course red wine is the best option health-wise. -       Positive attitude. Most forms of illness can be linked to stress, and the Irish are well known for their blunt and straightforward view of the world. I don’t think it can necessarily be called optimism, but it is very much a mantra of “whatever will be, will be.” -       Staying active. It’s important to stay active, if not fit, and basically avoid a sedentary lifestyle. Whether it’s going up and down a flight of stairs in the morning or taking a stroll to the local pub, any physical activity can help sustain a long and healthy life. -       And of course, good genetics – there may just be something in the Irish bloodline – we’re loud, we’re proud, we live forever. And although this woman is technically British, I feel she really embraced the Irish mindset when she hired a stripper to celebrate her 100th birthday. [caption id="attachment_43945" align="alignnone" width="555"]Doris Deaharde on her 100th birthday Doris Deaharde on her 100th birthday[/caption]

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