104-year-old Cork woman has first Zoom call after beating Covid-19

104-year-old Cork woman has first Zoom call after beating Covid-19

Pictured is Mary McGrath, who received a personal letter from Cork's Lord Mayor Cllr Joe Kavanagh, in Bishopscourt Residential Care facility, Cork. Picture: Jim Coughlan.

A 104-year-old woman who has beaten Covid-19 has added her first digital footprint to the world she has walked in for over a century.

Mary McGrath had her first Zoom call at Bishopscourt Nursing Home in Cork on Friday with her new Acorn tablet presented to her by her friends at Ballyphehane Togher Community Development Programme (BTCDP) during a window visit.

The tablet was given to Ms McGrath as a means to keep her connected with the community during the current pandemic.

Siobhán O’Dowd of Ballyphehane Togher Community Development Programme, also presented her with a personalised ‘Senior Play Pack’, one of 4,500 such packs which have been distributed to elderly people across the city.

Pictured is Mary McGrath, who received a personal letter from Cork's Lord Mayor Cllr Joe Kavanagh, with Siobhan O'Dowd, Ballyphehane Togher CDP, in Bishopscourt Residential Care facility, Cork. Picture: Jim Coughlan.
Pictured is Mary McGrath, who received a personal letter from Cork's Lord Mayor Cllr Joe Kavanagh, with Siobhan O'Dowd, Ballyphehane Togher CDP, in Bishopscourt Residential Care facility, Cork. Picture: Jim Coughlan.

She said that Ms McGrath’s smile “got a little brighter and broader” as she was presented with her special pack containing the tablet and a personal letter from Cork’s Lord Mayor Cllr Joe Kavanagh who wrote: “you are living proof that we only grow old when we stop playing as you’ve maintained your sense of humour and enjoyment of life so wonderfully”.

Speaking of how important Ms McGrath is to the local community, Ms O’Dowd said she was “central to our community and city celebrations of the Centenary of 1916, of Learning Neighbourhoods and Learning City in 2017 and of Women in 2018”.

Pictured are Bishopscourt Residential Care facility staff with Mary McGrath, on a Zoom call with Cork's Lord Mayor Cllr Joe Kavanagh and Siobhan O'Dowd, Ballyphehane Togher CDP looking on, in Bishopscourt Residential Care facility, Cork. Picture: Jim Coughlan.
Pictured are Bishopscourt Residential Care facility staff with Mary McGrath, on a Zoom call with Cork's Lord Mayor Cllr Joe Kavanagh and Siobhan O'Dowd, Ballyphehane Togher CDP looking on, in Bishopscourt Residential Care facility, Cork. Picture: Jim Coughlan.

Supported by her family, neighbours and friends, Ms McGrath lived independently on the southside of the city before taking a fall which landed her in hospital where she contracted Covid-19.

After coming out the other side, she is now being cared for at Bishopscourt Nursing Home, where plans are already underway to mark her 105th birthday next month.

Pictured is Mary McGrath, who received a Senior Play Pack, flowers, personal letter from Cork's Lord Mayor Cllr Joe Kavanagh and an Acorn Tablet, from her friends at Ballyphehane Togher CDP, in Bishopscourt Residential Care facility, Cork. Picture: Jim Coughlan.
Pictured is Mary McGrath, who received a Senior Play Pack, flowers, personal letter from Cork's Lord Mayor Cllr Joe Kavanagh and an Acorn Tablet, from her friends at Ballyphehane Togher CDP, in Bishopscourt Residential Care facility, Cork. Picture: Jim Coughlan.

Her 104th birthday was celebrated just weeks into the first lockdown last year, with a social distanced party of family, friends and the Lord Mayor Cllr John Sheehan and Lady Mayoress Aedamar.

“On the anniversary of the first lockdown in Ireland we’re all Covid weary, tired of keeping on keeping on but half an hour today with Mary and those of us privileged to be there left with a pep in our step and a determination to go that extra mile, that the endpoint finally looks to be in sight,” Ms O’Dowd said.

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