A MINUTE’S silence has been held at a council meeting in Ballymena in memory of Maud Nicholl – the oldest woman on the island of Ireland – who died recently at the age of 110.
Councillor Maureen Morrow, the Mayor of Mid & East Antrim Borough Council, said: “I was saddened to learn of the recent death of Maud Nicholl, a resident of our Borough and Ireland’s oldest woman who passed away in her 111th year.
“Like previous mayors I had the pleasure of visiting Maud earlier this year to extend our good wishes on the occasion of her 110th birthday. On behalf of Council I would extend our thoughts and prayers to Maud’s family circle at this very difficult time.”
Maud passed away peacefully in her sleep last month at Glenkeen House care home in Randalstown.
Deputy Mayor, Councillor Beth Adger, also sent her sympathies to Maud’s relatives.
She told the council meeting: “Maud was a very dear friend of mine and a real lady and being in her presence you always felt so good after it because she had so many stories to tell and so many things to talk about.
“Even up to the very end my husband was visiting her just a few days before she passed away and even then she was chuckling and laughing and she had such an infectious laugh.
“She just went to bed in the afternoon and didn’t waken up again which is a nice way to be ‘in glory’.”
Glenkeen care home said in a statement: “Maud was an inspiration to many and only moved into the care home setting prior to Christmas last year. We celebrated her birthday on 3rd July this year and enjoyed her holding court at that very special event.
“Maud loved to share stories of her life, particularly her childhood and was always full of joy. Maud had a sharp wit, a twinkle in her eye and a penchant for straight talking. Her love of singing, good craic and her pleasant nature will all be long remembered by the staff in Glenkeen.”
Maud was born in 1909 in Ballymena. She was a daughter to John and Jane Nicholl and a loving sister to Joe. Maud grew up on the Dans Road.
The house was surrounded by beautiful gardens and orchards which Maud was besotted by. The Nicholl family kept a lot of Great Danes which all were named ‘Bruce’.
As Maud grew up, her parents taught her to read and write which then helped her to progress to be a bank worker.
Once Maud’s father took unwell, she quit her job and devoted her time and love to looking after her father and then eventually, her brother Joe.
Maud, who never married, moved to the Woodgreen area near Ballymena in the early 1970s where she continued to cook and clean the house herself and loved gardening.
When once asked what her secret to a long life was, Maud said: “I don’t know. I was always quite happy and I never worried too much.”
And asked what her advice would be for longevity, Maud said: “Just do the best you can every day and trust in God.”
On another occasion Maud revealed the secret to her long life was: “No smoking, no drinking and …no men!”
Speaking last month, Councillor Beth Adger said Maud was able to retain her independence and alive alone in a two-bedroom house up until last year but after a fall it was thought best to move to the care home.
“She loved it in Glenkeen. The staff there were very good to her. She had many friends there and they all loved her to bits.”