Man believed to be oldest in Ireland dies aged 106

 

CAVAN NATIVE Michael “Mick” Fitzsimons, reputed to be the oldest man in the State, died over the weekend aged 106.

Mr Fitzsimons, from the townland of Knockategart, Stradone, Co Cavan, died on Saturday morning, having been until recently “in perfect health”.

He celebrated his 106th birthday in the Lavey Inn, Stradone, in February, and had still been able to walk up and down the stairs unaided.

“He was a great man with a good sense of humour. He always had a smile and loved his shave,” said Emma Crowe, one of Mr Fitzsimons’s carers. “He took a glass of brandy every night before going to bed,” she told The Irish Times.

Mr Fitzsimons was a carpenter and builder, who helped restore St Michael’s church in Clifferna, Co Cavan, where his funeral Mass will take place today at 11am.

He attributed his longevity to “porridge and hard work” and continued cycling until he was 100, according to friends.

A committed Fine Gael supporter all his life, Mr Fitzsimons cast a ballot in the recent general election. “He worked hard for the party and had a great interest in politics and history,” said Sr Maura Fitzsimons, one of Michael’s six children. She is a member of the Presentation Sisters in Mississippi in the US.

“He had a great memory and could recall a lot of the great events from Irish history. He would still talk about politics until last year,” she said.

Mr Fitzsimons was also a member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians.

A friend, who attended his removal last night, said he could turn his hand to any type of work.

“He was a great carpenter and a very clean and tidy man – a real gentleman,” he said.

Mr Fitzsimons lived his later years with his son Michael and daughter-in-law Teresa.

He was predeceased by his wife Rose and son Frank.

Mr Fitzsimons is survived by daughters Maura, Rita and Carmel and his sons Michael and Sean. The funeral Mass will take place this morning at St Michaels Church, Clifferna, Co Cavan. The burial will take place afterwards in the adjoining cemetery.