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A 99 at 99!... Mary Skerritt, nee Mc Mahon originally from Miltown Malbay, and wife of the late Tommy Skerritt, Lahinch, recently celebrates her 99th birthday at St Joseph's in Ennis. To celebrate, her family arranged a small private family gathering which included a visit from the ice cream van. she is pictured here enjoying her 99 cone on her 99th. Photograph by John Kelly

99s for all as Mary marks her 99th year

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THERE was a n-ice surprise for the residents and staff of St Joseph’s Hospital in Ennis at the weekend.
The family of resident Mary Skerritt came up with a novel way of celebrating her 99th birthday, while keeping socially distanced, by organising for an ice-cream van to pay a visit to the nursing home.
Mary was born on May 8, 1922 in Miltown Malbay and is the mother of seven children, along with being a proud grandmother and great grandmother.
Her son Michael told The Champion that because of Covid-19 they were unable to celebrate her birthday the way the family would have liked, so came up with this idea to mark the occasion while also saying thank you to the hospital staff for their dedicated care.
“It was just a fabulous day and we had great weather for it. We were trying to come up with ideas of what we could do for her birthday and this one was floating around for a while, it was the only thing we could do because of the Covid restrictions.
“We thought having 99s for her 99th birthday was a nice touch, and we wanted to give the staff a reward, it’s just a small thing but we wanted to acknowledge all of the hard work they have done. They have just been incredible.”
Mary, who has received her Covid-19 vaccine, was brought outside to receive her birthday treat while her family stayed a safe distance away.
“We haven’t been able to visit her because of the restrictions, we could just talk to her through the window. It’s been lifted a little bit, so we can get two visits a week per family. It’s getting better, definitely.
“My mother did everything for us growing up, she had five boys and two girls and we were pampered.
“This was just our way of giving her something back for all of the things she has done for us. We love getting together and having a shindig, so not being able to have her birthday celebration was difficult, but maybe next year.”

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