'Keep eating your porridge' – Ireland's newest centenarian shares her secrets to a long life

Margaret Lynch celebrated her 100th birthday yesterday and shared some of her secrets to a long life

In times of trouble, we tend to look at our elders to provide the guidance and calm they are blessed with.

One such person is Margaret Lynch from Walkinstown who is Ireland's newest centenarian. Born on April 3, 1920, in the Rotunda hospital, she celebrated her 100th birthday yesterday with her family while maintaining social distancing measures.

Margaret spoke on Liveline with Joe Duffy yesterday about the often extraordinary times she has experienced saying she has "lived through it all."


Her appearance on the show was met with a stream of birthday wishes and messages of admiration for a remarkable woman who has lived a remarkable life.

Seen it all

She was born amid the War of Independence in Ireland and witnessed the effects of World War II. On the day of her wedding in July 1945, rationing was still taking place and she had to collect food coupons and clothing coupons for the day's festivities.

She regrets not keeping the rationing books as a memento but they were burned when the harsh restrictions were eased.

At 100 years of age, Margaret lives alone and last week planted seeds and spuds in her garden. Her family is leaving her food and making sure she has everything she needs during the lockdown. While her local day centre, where she is a still a volunteer, leave her a hot dinner every day.



Margaret is the longest-serving volunteer in the Sisters of Charity and has helped the organisation for 54 years. Before the crisis, Margaret was volunteering two days a week at the centre handing out dinners and cleaning tables.


When it comes to the coronavirus she said she didn't know if she was scared as so much was unknown about the disease. However, she misses being able to get outside and have her "little chats".

She received her Centenarian Bounty and a congratulatory letter from President Michael D Higgins yesterday and said her party is "postponed" not cancelled.

Margaret is a mother of six, a grandmother to 15 and great-grandmother to 28 with three on the way. Her eldest great-grandchild is 18 and is due to complete his Leaving Cert this year.

Margaret has been blessed with great health in her 100 years and outside of having her children, was hospitalised only once when she fell last month.


So what is her secret?

"Keep eating your porridge. Go for walks. That’s about it."

You can listen to the full interview here. 

Read more: Unusually vivid dreams during the coronavirus pandemic? You're not alone

Read more: Dolly Parton bedtime stories, cocktail classes and a virtual rave: your weekend quarantainment guide

Read more: Irish kids are being asked to record a 20-second love song about their favourite things


The image newsletter