Elizabeth Lyons was baptised in St Mary’s Church in Limerick City as the country entered a bloody civil war in 1922.
Now, 100 years on, the great-great-grandmother switched on the fairy lights on a giant Christmas tree at her local church to show “peace and love” for all.
Ms Lyons was guest of honour for a Christmas concert at her parish church, where proceeds from a local sponsorship drive funded the erection of a giant tree wrapped in welcoming festive lights.
"I'm all my life in the parish, I was christened here in the old church, and I’m still living just around the corner. It is an honour to be here, it is lovely," said Ms Lyons.
The mother of 12, who lost one daughter Philomena aged six-months-old, is still going strong after raring eleven other children and still finds time to “adore” her "forty something grandchildren; fifty-something great grandchildren; two great-great grandchildren and another on the way", said her daughter, Margaret.
Her husband Martin, "who was in the army and then went to England to work on the steam ships" has sadly passed away but she is "looking forward" to being surrounded by her large family.
"I come to the church every morning for ten o'clock mass, I have done so all my life, but I’m looking forward to Christmas, all [my family] will come around to my house.”
There is "longevity on the female side" of the family, said another daughter.
"My mother’s great-grandmother lived to be 99 and her grandmother was 96 and most of her sisters lived into their 90s,” she said.
Ms Lyons said her secret to her youthful appearance was “soap and water, no makeup, no lipstick, and a bit of moisturising cream at night”.
And her recipient for longevity is to stay active and “never sit down”.
“I never took life easy, I always kept going...hard work, I don't sit down much.”
Her daughter Margaret said: “She always had a great appetite, she has a glass of milk everyday, plenty of veg and sometimes she might have glass of Guinness.”
"The doctor told her at one time, for a tonic, to build herself up to take the Guinness so she used to put it in her milk."
Her children Margaret, Mary, Kevin, Geraldine, Matthew, Rita, Ann, Martin, Paul, Dermot and Brian, are all “very proud”.
Fr Richard Davern, St Mary’s PP, said he hoped Ms Lyons continuing community spirit and their Christmas tree would "lift the spirits of people in these dark times".
“You never know what stresses are going on in people's lives, and I would hope that the lights on the Christmas tree which Elizabeth has lit for us all, will bring a bit of hope into the world."