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Tuesday 13 November 2018

Joint birthday celebration for 100-year-old Jack and his niece Bridie, aged 90

Jack and Bridie cutting the cake
Jack and Bridie cutting the cake
Jack Berney (100) and his niece Bridie Kelly (90) celebrating their birthdays in The Sycamore Bar, Killurin

Anna Hayes

There were double celebrations for the Berney family from Barntown when they marked the occasion of two big birthdays - that of 100-year-old Jack Berney, and his niece Bridie Kelly's 90th!

Jack, who lives in the UK, turned 100 back in March while Bridie, who moved back to Barntown after living in Dublin for a long period, turned 90 in July.

However, seeing as neither got to attend the other's birthday celebrations, the family decided to hold a big night in Declan and Mary Roche's Sycamore Bar to mark both occasions.

Bridie is the daughter of Jack's older sister Margaret and Jack's niece Ann Berney said both were close growing up given their proximity in age.

However, when Jack moved to England at the young age of 17, Ann said that Bridie would have missed his company.

Bridie subsequently moved to Dublin, married and had five children, while Jack married in the UK and had two children - both of whom are now in their 70s.

Jack comes home regularly to Ireland and Ann said that, even when she was living in Dublin, Bridie always made sure she came down to see him. The last time they saw each other was when Jack was home in 2016.

Three of Bridie's daughters were at the party while Jack was accompanied by his son and grandson who had travelled from the UK with him.

Ann said: 'We decided to have the party to give them the chance to celebrate with each other - it was lucky that both of their major birthdays fell in the one year. They knew we were going down to Declan's but they didn't know we were going to have cake for them. It was a wonderful family get-together.'

She added that when Jack came home, they always had a night in the Sycamore Bar as her uncle loved a good sing-song.

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