Margate resident Mary O’Neill celebrates her 103rd birthday

Mary with her daughter, son in law and nieces and nephews on her 100th birthday

Margate resident Mary O’Neill (Flor) will celebrate her 103rd birthday today  (November 12) with a family meal at Toby Carvery in Westwood.

Mary, who lives independently, was born in Scrivogue, Ireland, in 1919. After leaving school she worked in Cluin, then stayed in London for a short time before returning to Dublin.

Mary again went to the UK and worked as a cook in Southport. This is where she met Tom O’Neill who was stationed with the Army in Lancashire.

The couple married on July 10, 1948 in a double ceremony with her sister Eileen and Jerry O’Sullivan. The service took place at St Mary of the Angels in Kensington.

In November 1949 Mary and Tom had daughter Anne.

Mary with one of her grandsons

Sadly, Tom died in 1976 and Mary and family moved to Cliftonville where they took on a B&B for the next eight years. Mary then stayed in the Margate area, moving into a flat.

Mary and Marian

Niece Marian said: “She is amazing and really so with it. She is very independent and likes to look after herself. She does not think of herself as old.

“She loves talking to people and, as she doesn’t get out as much now, she likes people visiting. Her faith is also very important to her.

“Mary like cooking and she is famous for her scones.”

Mary with some of her great-grandchildren

Mary has three grandsons and is also a great-grandmother. She enjoys getting phone calls from ‘home’ to hear all the latest news from Beara on the south-west coast of Ireland.

In 1919:

Monarch – George V

Prime Minister – David Lloyd George (Coalition)

28 June – The  Treaty of Versailles was signed, formally ending World War I.

18 July – the Cenotaph in London, as designed by Edwin Lutyens, is unveiled to commemorate the dead of World War I.

19 July – Peace Day: victory parades across Britain celebrate the end of World War I.

4 November – the Cabinet’s Irish Committee settles on a policy of creating two Home Rule parliaments in Ireland – one in Dublin and one in Belfast – with a Council of Ireland to provide a framework for possible unity

11 November – first Remembrance Day observed with two minutes silence at 11:00am

1 December – Nancy Astor, Viscountess Astor becomes the first woman to take her seat in the House of Commons,

15 December – meat rationing ends


  1. Wishing you a very Happy Birthday Mary
    from Mary Brohill and all of us – the daughters of Dónal Brohill late of Cluin.
    I hope to get in contact with you via Claire, your late sister Eileen’s granddaughter. You have certainly seen a whole lot of history and made it too. Delighted to hear you’re well and celebrating! 🙏🏼💖💖💖🙏🏼🙏🏼🎊🎊🎊😍😍😍

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