One of Ireland's oldest women has died at the age of 107.
The much loved Nancy Stewart from Clonard was highly regarded and well known in the nearby community of Edenderry, Co Offaly.
She was a vibrant woman right into her final months and was featured on RTE on a number of occasions encouraging people to get out and vote at elections, including in the 2020 General Election.
When the Covid-19 lockdowns began last year, Nancy's granddaughter Louise Coughlan moved in with her, making Nancy the oldest woman in Ireland living in her own home until her death on Friday morning.
In a moving Facebook post, Louise wrote: "My best friend left for heaven this morning at 6am. She didn’t tell me she was leaving but god came and took her to her forever home beyond the blue sky and right beside the sun, the moon and the stars.
"I’ll never be able to put into words how broken my heart is yet how full of love and gratitude it is for one human who gave me all I need to see the world in a forever kind and generous way. I love you granny," she continued.
"You were my world for so long and for so many others, but now we must let god, my dad and all the angels and saints be blessed with your presence.
"Forever the other half of my heart, forever my reason to smile even when I feel low. The world doesn’t seem half as bright without you in it, but I know you will help me find my sparkle when the time is tight.
"We will meet again and when we do, I know you will have the kettle on. All my love from here to eternity. Don’t worry I’ll turn the lights off before I close my eyes tonight. My best friend forever. Lou.
"To all our Facebook family we will grieve together, we will walk on together and we will heal together with Nancy in our hearts forever. It’s all gran would wish for us all," she concludes.
Nancy Stewart was older than Ireland. Born three years before the 1916 Rising, she lived through the war of independence, a civil war and two world wars, and even in the face of Covid-19 and lockdown, she powered on with a smile on her face and plenty of chat.
She wrote a letter to Ireland last October, giving us hope and inspiration to get through the hard times, even reading parts of it aloud herself.
Warm your heart by watching this video made by Living and Laughing with Lou at that time.
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