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Sr Maureen 'always looking to the future' as she turns 103

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Sr Maureen Kehoe has been celebrating her 103rd birthday. Photo: Kyran O'Brien

Sr Maureen Kehoe has been celebrating her 103rd birthday. Photo: Kyran O'Brien

Sr Maureen Kehoe has been celebrating her 103rd birthday. Photo: Kyran O'Brien

The key to longevity? Stay relevant and always look to the future - that's 103-year-old Sr Maureen Kehoe's top tip.

The proud nun and family woman celebrated her big birthday surrounded by 30 of her closest family and friends at the weekend.

She has also received a third commemorative coin from President Michael D Higgins to add to her collection.

Sr Kehoe, who joined the Daughters of Charity at the age of 22, lives in St Theresa's Temple Hill in Blackrock, Dublin.

Her niece Phil Kehoe described the centenarian as a "people person, a wonderful communicator and a career woman".

Sr Kehoe is much-respected for her work in Crumlin Children's Hospital with well-known Irish heart surgeon, activist and newspaper columnist Maurice Neligan, who passed away in 2010.

"Sr Kehoe loves people, she's always been one for people," Phil told the Herald.

"She never kept in the past, she's always looking to the future.

Fantastic

"She's always been very relevant and she has a determination for a sense of achievement."

Phil described her aunt as "a fantastic person".

"She was so full of life on her birthday and had such a good time," she added.

"It was a fantastic thing to see all of her family and friends there and I'm sure we'll do it all again this time next year."

And although Sr Kehoe was born before the Easter Rising and the Battle of the Somme, she does not let her advanced age get in the way of living a full life.

"Maureen is quite the woman and continues to be very involved in life," Phil said.

"At 103, she loves going out for drives and would visit her church on a daily basis - and she is very much part of her community.

"She has such a great sense of humour and often says that she feels so lucky to still have her marbles."

Phil described how Sr Kehoe was heavily involved in the local community during her distinguished career.

She would even have been involved in the first Alzheimer's unit in Blackrock and was there when former president Mary Robinson came to visit.

"We all have such a huge amount of respect for Maureen because she has dedicated her life to giving, expecting nothing in return," said Phil.

"Maureen's family were also very supportive and I'm sure her parents were always so proud of her.

"Her godson is now going on 87 and has a very successful company, which he is still very much involved with."