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The Ireland List
Irish Misc. Trivia Page

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Irish Trivia

Smallest Irishman: David Jones, Lisburn, Co. Antrim, born 28 April 1903, measured an unconfirmed 2 feet 2 inches at death on 28 March 1970. His weight of 4 stone, however, suggests a height of approximately 3 feet.

Tallest Irishman: Although Jim Cully, Tipperary is, at 7 feet 2 inches, the best-known tall man, Patrick Cotter O-Brien of Kinsale, Co. Cork is said to have measured 8 feet 7 3/4 inches. Porthumous calculations, however put his height at 7 feet 10.86 inches.

Smallest Irishwoman: Catherine Kelly who died at Norwich, England in October 1785 was recorded at being 34 inches in height. Weighing 1 stone 8 pounds she was nicknamed 'The Irish Fairy'.

Heaviest Irishman: Roger Byrne, Rosenallis, Co. Laois who died in 1808 weighted 52 stone.

Oldest Man: In 1887, James Warren, Baldoyle, Co. Dublin died at the age of 167!

Oldest Woman: When the Countess of Desmond fell from her cherry tree and was killed in 1604 she was aged 140 years. (I have to wonder, what would a 140 year old Countess be doing climbing a cherry tree? deb)

Oldest Mother: Mrs. Mary Higgins, Cork City, who was born on 7 January 1876, gave birth to a baby girl on St. Patrick's Day 1931 when aged 55 years and 69 days.

Oldest Father: There is a record of an unnamed man becoming a father at 89 years.

Tallest Corpse: The preserved body of an 8 foot tall Crusader may be seen at St. Michan's Vaults, Dublin where, due to unique atmospheric conditions, bodies do not decompose.

Oldest Triplets: Still alive in 1978, Anthony, Joseph and Edmund McMahon were born in Coore East, Co. Clare in 1898.

Longest Hunger Strike: 94 days, a world record, at Cork Jail from 11 August to 12 November 1920. Nine of the twelve strikers survived: Sean Hennessy, John Crowley, Christopher Upton, Peter Burke, Michael O'Reilly and Thomas Donovan.

Shot Before Birth: Catherine Anne Gilmore was dellivered by Caesarean section three months prematurely in July 1976. Her mother had been shot in the Ardoyne district of Belfast and a bullet had lodged in her baby's back. It was removed and the child released from hospital eight months later.

Long Skip: On 25 June 1977 a Waterford boxer, Paddy 'Flutter' Reilly, kept up a non-stop skipping routine for 5 hours, 41 minutes to make an Irish and world record.

Oyster Opening: Willie Moran, The Weir, Kilcolgan, Co. Galway, opened a record 30 oysters in 1 minute 31 seconds at Clarenbridge, Co. Galway on 10 September 1977.

Strong Man: The late Michael 'Butty' Sugrue from Killorglin, Co Kerry was Ireland's strongest man. Among his feats of strength was the pulling of a passenger-laden double decker bus.

Gulp and Croak: John McNamara, Scariff, Co. Clare won the first frog-swallowing championship of Ireland at Ballycomber, Co. Offaly in 1975 swallowing five live frogs in 1 minute 5 seconds. (Gasp! Yuck! deb)

U.S. Crossing: Tom McGrath, Eddery, Co. Fermanagh, ran 3,046 miles from New York to San Francisco in September-October 1977. His record time of 53 days 7 minutes was made during his honeymoon.

Live Burial: Tim Hayes, Cobh, Co. Cork remained buried alive for 215 hours in an 8 foot grave at Newbridge, Co. Derry between 4 and 18 July 1967. His coffin was 6 feet 3 inches long, 12 inches wide at head and feet, 21 inches wide at shoulders and 14 inches deep. (again Gasp! wonder if this was intentional or accidental? deb)

Never Trailing: 32 members of the Dublin Fire Brigade hauled a trailer and pump from Dublin's Mansion House to Cork's City Hall in 21 hours to set up a world record on 30-31 March, 1978.

Excerpts from:

'The Mercier Book Of Irish Records'
by Padraic O'Farrell

Revere Resident Dies At Age 109

REVERE, Mass. (AP) -- James P. Hanlon died this week at the age of 109, two years after his wife of 80 years, the former Florence Gillon, passed away. She was 101. Hanlon died at the Annemark Nursing Home in Revere.

According to the book "Living to 100," the odds of a married couple both living more than a century are about 6 million to 1. Hanlon was born in Ireland in 1891, when Queen Victoria was on the throne in England. He immigrated to the United States as a young man.

During World War II, he was superintendent of the General Electric turbine manufacturing plant in Lynn. He later worked at the GE aircraft division plants in Everett and Lynn, retiring in 1957.

Asked about his longevity he said, "The secret is to keep it simple, be true to yourself and walk kindly with God."

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