Mr Vincent O’Reilly
Vincent was born in the Derries near Killeshandra Co Cavan, in 3 July 1919 and was one of a family of thirteen.
Two of his brothers were JohnJoe (the gallant JohnJoe) and Tom. JohnJoe and Tom were famous Cavan footballers, seeing Cavan through to all Ireland glory in 1947 in the Polo grounds in New York. Vincent also liked football but decided to concentrate on his farming career instead.
Vincent married Margaret Taite from outside Virginia, County Cavan in 1954. The couple had planned to emigrate to Australia, initially moving to Northern Ireland.
Vincent had purchased a farm at Tonagh situated between Fintona and Trillick. As family came along and they enjoyed farming and living at Tonagh, they decided not to go to Australia. Margaret and Vincent had six children, Mary who lives in Ballinasloe, Una who lives in Ennis, JohnJoe who lives in Collon, Twins Marcella and Geraldine, who live in Emyvale and Omagh respectively, and, Brian who lives in the Isle of Man. Vincent also has eleven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, all of which he has a special connection with.
Vincent had a full family get together to mark his 100 birthday and was delighted to receive his cards from the Queen and Michael D Higgins.
In 1984 Margaret and Vincent decided to sell their farm outside Fintona. They bought another farm and move to County Meath. Vincent was 65 at this stage, an age when some people would be retiring, but he continued to farm until he was 80.
At 80 Vincent decided to retire from farming and this was when Margaret and Vincent moved to Richmond Park in Omagh. Here they joined the Killyclogher Senior Citizens Group and made lots of new friends, as well as re-connecting with lots of their more established friends in the area.
Vincent was always very active having farmed until he was 80, but he was also a keen swimmer and walker, who also loves reading and dancing. Vincent would have walked 3 miles a day, visited the gym and drove, up until he was 96. His favourite places for swimming include Rossanowlagh and Keel beach in Achill.
He loves spending time with his family and in particular his grand and great-grandchildren. When Vincent’s grand-daughter Ciara got married in Bunratty, County Clare in 2019, the new bride started the first dance with her new husband but finished it with her granddad.
His daughter Geraldine describes him:“Daddy is a very good humoured and witty individual who is always positive. He always makes people smile when he is in their company, with his wit and humour. With Daddy the glass isn’t just half full, its three quarters full”.
Now aged 102, Vincent believes he is very lucky experiencing good health throughout his life. He says the secret of his good health is having everything in moderation.