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Galway resident celebrates her 109th birthday in style!

Nobody can say that they’ve seen it all, but one Oughterard resident has come closer than most as she marks her 109th birthday.

Phyllis Furness celebrated this remarkable feat at Moycullen Nursing Home last week, surrounded by well-wishers who reported her as being in remarkably good form despite her advancing years.

Fellow Oughterard resident, Rev Anthony Previte, paid tribute to Phyllis as “an integral part of the community”, having made the town her home after relocating from her native England in the 1980s.

Having moved into the care home in Moycullen just last year, Rev Previte says they were delighted to join her to mark the occasion.

“She was originally from Northampton and moved around a bit before going to Christchurch in Bournemouth where she ran a nursing home. She tells the story that when she applied for the job, they asked her what qualifications she had and she said she had none, but she knew how she would like to be looked after.

“She’s always very matter of fact and well-known in our community here. Her knitted nativity scenes were also well-known, and she even appeared on RTÉ to talk about them at one point,” recalls Rev Previte.

Renowned for her recitations, singing and dancing, having competed in Tops of the Town competitions, he says Phyllis’ impact on Oughterard since her arrival there over 40 years ago has been significant.

Caption: Phyllis Furness at her 109th birthday party with granddaughter Jackie Ord, who travelled from Melbourne, Australia. Photo: Sean Lydon.

Get the full story and more photos in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now, or you can download the digital edition from You can also download our Connacht Tribune App from Apple’s App Store or get the Android Version from Google Play.

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