Northern Ireland’s oldest woman celebrates her 107th birthday in Belfast

Considered Northern Ireland’s oldest woman, Agnes Thompson celebrated her 107th birthday in Belfast while being cradled by her great-great-grandchildren.

t Strathearn Carehome on Belmont Road, several generations gathered inside to enjoy a cake and for a happy birthday performance led by a tartan-clad piper.

As letters from the Queen and the Irish President sat on the mantelpiece, a collage of images also told the more than century-long story of Agnes’ family life.

Above, a black and white portrait showed Belfast-born Agnes with her late husband Robbie who had worked in the shipyards as well as her two deceased sons, Ralph and Roy.

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September 02, 2022 – Friends, family and staff at Strathearn Care Home in east Belfast celebrate with Agnes Thompson her 107th birthday. Image credit should read: Liam McBurney/RAZORPIX ©

Liam McBurney/RAZORPIX

September 02, 2022 – Friends, family and staff at Strathearn Care Home in east Belfast celebrate with Agnes Thompson her 107th birthday. Image credit should read: Liam McBurney/RAZORPIX ©

Several images also show her holding babies, who have now grown up to have children of their own.

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Agnes Thompson with her late husband Rabbie Thompson on holiday in the Isle of Man circa mid-1960s.


Agnes Thompson with her late husband Rabbie Thompson on holiday in the Isle of Man circa mid-1960s.

Liam McBurney/RAZORPIX

Agnes Thompson with her late husband Rabbie Thompson on holiday in the Isle of Man circa mid-1960s.

Today, she has seven grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren and 12 great-great-grandchildren, the youngest being one-year-old Finn.

At the center of attention in a media scrum, Agnès was happy to answer questions.

Delighted to be surrounded by her family, she revealed that her favorite flavor of ice cream is raspberry.

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Agnes Thompson celebrates her 107th birthday at Strathearn Care Home in east Belfast. Photo: Liam McBurney/RAZORPIX ©

Agnes Thompson celebrates her 107th birthday at Strathearn Care Home in east Belfast. Photo: Liam McBurney/RAZORPIX ©


Agnes Thompson celebrates her 107th birthday at Strathearn Care Home in east Belfast. Photo: Liam McBurney/RAZORPIX ©

Liam McBurney/RAZORPIX

Agnes Thompson celebrates her 107th birthday at Strathearn Care Home in east Belfast. Photo: Liam McBurney/RAZORPIX ©

In fact, when asked what it felt like to be 107, she joked, “I’m just the same as yesterday.”

Granddaughter Jean Hill told the Belfast Telegraph Agnes had lived through four British monarchs, soon to be 22 prime ministers and 19 US presidents.

“She was born in 1915 before partition, so the Irish government recognizes my grandmother as an Irish citizen, so they sent papers and letters from President Michael D Higgins’ office,” she said.

“She’s been through so many things like the moon landing, the fall of the Berlin wall, the cloning of Dolly the sheep.”

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A collage of family photos by Agnes Thompson (107). She is pictured above with her late husband Robbie and sons Ralph and Roy.

A collage of family photos by Agnes Thompson (107). She is pictured above with her late husband Robbie and sons Ralph and Roy.


A collage of family photos by Agnes Thompson (107). She is pictured above with her late husband Robbie and sons Ralph and Roy.

A collage of family photos by Agnes Thompson (107). She is pictured above with her late husband Robbie and sons Ralph and Roy.

The popular question of the day was about her grandmother’s secret to long life.

“She’s very interested in everything around her, so I think that’s one of the things that kept her young,” she said.

“She likes to go everywhere, likes new experiences. She would have walked everywhere and I think that’s what kept her healthy.”

Agnes only moved into a care home four years ago, and Jean said the family were deeply grateful for the care staff had provided her during various lockdowns.

“They’ve been really good with grandma. They were his family when we weren’t allowed in.

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Agnes Thompson, with her son Roy, her son Ralph on his wedding day to his wife Mary, and standing behind is Agnes' husband Rabbie. December 1958.

Agnes Thompson, with her son Roy, her son Ralph on his wedding day to his wife Mary, and standing behind is Agnes' husband Rabbie. December 1958.


Agnes Thompson, with her son Roy, her son Ralph on his wedding day to his wife Mary, and standing behind is Agnes’ husband Rabbie. December 1958.

Liam McBurney/RAZORPIX

Agnes Thompson, with her son Roy, her son Ralph on his wedding day to his wife Mary, and standing behind is Agnes’ husband Rabbie. December 1958.

“She had Covid twice and went through it. She has such good health and excellent care here.”

Grandson David Thompson (57), son of Ralph, watched the family montage fondly.

A photo showed a smiling Agnes on top of a donkey while on holiday in Blackpool.

“She is still quite aware really,” he said.

“There she’s holding my son Josh like a baby, but he’s also a father now.”

He said it was a moving experience to have so many generations gathered in the same room to celebrate this special day.

“It’s amazing that she has reached the age of 107. She’s always been such a sweet little woman.

“You never had anything bad to say about anyone.

“She really loved her two sons, and when her grandchildren like me arrived she actually paid a lot of us to go on holiday to Spain 45 years ago.

“I think she had received severance pay after working for the Goblin factory (which produced tea machines).

“She also worked in the old flax mills.”

He attributed his long life to a deep love of family.

“I just think it’s his good nature. She had drinks on a Saturday night at the time, but I think she just loved her family.

“They kept her going, so she kept going. She’s an amazing woman.”

. Watch woman old from Ireland North celebrates her #107th birthday Belfast

. Northern Irelands oldest woman celebrates #107th birthday Belfast

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