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Tuesday 11 December 2018

A milestone for Patricia... topped off by rugby win!

100-year-old Patricia with Arla, the youngest of her great grandchildren
100-year-old Patricia with Arla, the youngest of her great grandchildren
Patricia cuts the cake at her the celebration in the Coast Hotel, Rosslare Strand

Anna Hayes

It was a landmark birthday, in more ways than one, for Patricia Teresa Finucane who not only turned 100 recently, but also got to see her favourite team defeat the mighty All Blacks on home turf for the first time.

Patricia is an avid rugby fan, following Ireland and Leinster and she got what she felt was the perfect end to a wonderful day in the Irish win over the world number one team. Among her presents was a rugby shirt signed by Wexford player Tadhg Furlong.

Her party took place in Coast Hotel, Rosslare Strand with 75 relatives and friends from America, Canada, England, Ireland and Wales in attendance.

Patricia has lived in Wexford since 1936.

Born in a nursing home in Lower Baggot Street on November 17, 1918, (just six days after the Armistice was signed), she was the daughter of John and Mary Frances Muriel Rutledge. She went to boarding school at Ursuline Convent in Chester, Cheshire at the age of six, spending a year there before returning to Dublin.

In 1936, her family moved to Wexford as her father was appointed Chief Engineer at Pierce's Foundry. Patricia, who had completed secondary school and a post-secondary course in Book Keeping in George's Street, Dublin, was appointed secretary to Phil Pierce, CEO of Pierce's Foundry at the time.

Around that time Patricia met Michael Joseph Finucane who was a young Veterinary Surgeon who worked with Barty Hickey (the first vet in Wexford). They were married on July 30, 1939.

Their first child sadly passed away shortly after birth but they had five more children: Ann, Brendan, Jean, Noeleen and Peter, most of whom emigrated to the UK and North America.

She has 14 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren, the youngest of whom, Arla, was born just three months ago so there is a 100-year spread in their ages.

In later years, Patricia owned a children's clothing shop in Wexford town called The Top Drawer.

Another gift that was presented to Patricia for her birthday was a book, written by her son Brendan, that outlined the lives of the Finucanes and the Rutledges growing up in Ireland.

The book is titled 'When I was your age' and is available as an ebook.

All of Patricia's children attended the special celebration at Coast Hotel in Rosslare Strand; the crowd numbered about 80 people in total. Music from the last ten decades was played throughout the day and photos of Patricia's interesting life were shown.

Speeches were made and the guest of honour was toasted by her grandson Michael. A letter from the President of Ireland was read out as well.

The evening finished off in style with the group gathering to watch Ireland beating the All Blacks for the first time on Irish soil.

Wexford People

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