TRIBUTES have been paid to the oldest person on the island of Ireland who has died.
Maud Nicholl, who celebrated her 110th birthday in the summer, passed away at Glenkeen House care home in Randalstown.
In a statement on Friday, Glenkeen said: “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.
“Staff Nurse Preschela spoke for the whole staff team in commenting how Maud was……’A joy to be around and a joy to have known over a very short time whilst living in Glenkeen House’.”
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 in a Victorian house which was situated 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.
The Deputy Mayor of Mid & East Antrim Borough Council, Councillor Beth Adger (DUP), was a friend of Maud’s.
Mrs Adger told ‘Ballymena Daily’ on Friday: “She passed away in her sleep. She was 110, in her 111th year.
“I am sorry to hear about the passing of my dear friend. She was such a joy to be near, always laughing, she had a great sense of humour.
“At her 108th birthday party at the Tullyglass Hotel she was asking all the reporters if they were married and they were keeping her going that she was still looking for a man.”
“She was always telling about the old times, she had been through so much…including living through two World Wars.”
“She was a lovely good Christian lady.
“She used to live just up the road from me in Woodgreen and I got to know her through my husband Tommy because he was her church elder.
“She actually always signed my nomination papers when I was standing for Council up until a couple of years ago.”
Mrs 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.”
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!”
A notice said: ‘Nicholl: passed away September 19th, 2019 peacefully at Glenkeen House Private Nursing Home, Maud (in her 111th year) formerly of 27 Woodgreen Park, Shankbridge, Ballymena, devoted daughter of the late John and Jane and much loved sister of the late Joe.
‘Service of thanksgiving for the life of Maud will be held in Alan Francey’s Funeral Church, 94 Toome Road Ballymena, BT42 2BU on Tuesday 24th at 12 Noon followed by interment in Ballymena Cemetery.
‘Will be lovingly remembered and sadly missed by Maureen, Stephen and all her friends. ‘Great is thy faithfulness’.’