Donegal’s oldest citizen Ruby Druce marks her 108th birthday this New Year’s Eve – and the kettle will be boiled dry as she welcomes a steady stream of visitors!
Remarkable Ruby, a proud Castlefinn woman, is Ireland’s fourth oldest person.
She is celebrating another incredible milestone in Letterkenny, where she lives with her niece Margo Butler for the past 10 years.
“She is loving life and in great form,” says Margo.
Cake, candles and presents are the order of the day as Ruby’s great circle of nieces, her nephew, grand nieces and nephews and great grand nieces and nephews celebrate her amazing life.
Born on New Year’s Eve 1915, to George Crawford and Elizabeth (née McBride), Ruby was the eldest of five children.
“She always says, she was born in the old year and christened in the new. She was christened on the 1st of January 1916,” says Margo. Ruby’s great grand-niece Ruby Shields, who was named after her, was christened in the very same outfit almost 100 years later.
Ruby worked in Porter’s Shirt Factory from the age of 14 to 62. In 1956, she married James Druce, who sadly passed away 14 years later.
Ruby remains very independent and likes to get up and about in her walker. Her secret to a long life has always been plenty of walking, hard work and a daily cod liver oil capsule.
When asked if she’s setting any New Year’s resolutions for 2024, Margo says she’s done with all that!
“She used to go off sweets for Lent, but she is so healthy, she says she has nothing to go off. She doesn’t drink nor smoke, and never did,” Margo said.
“She is just happy in the life that she’s living now.”
Ruby will be looking forward to warmer days in 2024, which will mean more trips to Castlefinn. In the meantime, she is kept busy welcoming well-wishers and enjoying the company of her nearest and dearest.
We wish Ruby and her family a very happy birthday and a Happy New Year in 2024.