A Covid survivor, who lost her husband to the disease, has become the first nursing home resident to receive the Covid-19 vaccine.
Maura Byrne (95) was given the Covid-19 jab yesterday in Hollybrook Lodge, St James's Hospital's residential care unit in Dublin.
"I feel great at the moment," said the great grandmother of 15 after receiving the inoculation.
She has been unable to see her family because of restrictions but says she is very lucky and uses her iPad to keep in touch.
"I'm very very happy. I'm really happy. I'm lucky, I have an iPad so I have little chats. When I go back up now I'll say 'Look! I got the vaccine'," she said.
"It's lovely. They all have messages for you. I have 15 great grandchildren. The great grandchildren would be standing on their heads. They're really funny.
"The nurses here are very kind. It's a home from home."
Her husband Stephen died of Covid-19 last year and Maura was recovering from Covid-19 at the time, leaving her unable to attend his funeral.
"I buried my husband and I couldn't see him. I watched it on a phone. I wanted to touch my own (family).
"On my husband's card he told me that I could 'cry and want me back or smile and think of the happy days we had'."
Mary Day, CEO of St James's Hospital, said yesterday: "As Ireland's largest acute academic teaching hospital and home to Mercer's Institute for Successful Ageing (MISA), it is particularly fitting that the roll-out of the Covid-19 vaccine in a residential care setting took place today in St James's Hospital's residential care unit, Hollybrook Lodge.
"We know that Covid-19 has been particularly challenging for older people and vaccinating our older and vulnerable population and those who care for them is our priority.
"Thanks to all the residents and staff for their support in rolling out the vaccine."