An 80th birthday and family reunion rolled into one
The family and friends of Katie Phillips pulled out all of the stops for her recent 80th birthday, arranging a surprise party and gathering family from the UK together for a family reunion to remember.
Katie, who turned 80 on March 13, was treated to dinner by her sons and daughters the previous Saturday and coaxed to The Sailing Cot afterwards, where her brother John and over 30 relatives from the UK had gathered to continue the celebration.
Katie's daughter Kathleen said it had been an emotional night for her mother, who hadn't seen the UK contingent of the family for two years.
'She had been threatening us all along not to be planning anything but we didn't want to let it pass without marking it. Once she got over the shock and the tears, she really enjoyed the night,' said Kathleen, thanking the pub and the live band.
Katie (nee French) was originally from Tagoat but lived most of her life in Wexford town. She married Jim Phillips (RIP) when she was just 19 and they had five children: Jimmy (RIP), Breda, Patrick (Stan), Kathleen and Anthony. She worked all of her life in the kitchen of the Talbot Hotel.
The following day was Mother's Day and a group of 33 went to Boa restaurant for dinner, rounding off a lovely weekend of celebration.
On their mother's actual birthday, her four children joined her at her home in Antelope Road for tea and cake.
'Mam told us that it was the best birthday she'd ever had and it was great to get the family over from the UK - for some of them, it was their first time in Ireland.'