Friday, 23 June 2023, 12:52
An Irish expat who has lived on the Costa del Sol for nearly 40 years marked her 101st birthday in Fuengirola on Monday (19 June) with a celebration meal attended by close family.
After hosting an event last year to mark her centenary that was attended by 25 members of her family, who flew in from the UK, Ireland, France, America and Dubai, Dubliner Eileen Bladen decided to mark the special occasion with a quiet meal with her brother, daughter, son, and niece.
However, the proceedings were not all low key, because Eileen received a special birthday wish from Irish President, Michael Higgins. As is the tradition in Ireland for citizens who reach their 101st birthday, Eileen received a special commemorative coin from the president, which she said "was lovely".
"It was such a wonderful surprise. I am so proud to be an Irish lady," Eileen told SUR in English.
The coin was accompanied by a letter signed by the president, which said, "I am delighted to send you my warmest personal congratulations and most sincere wishes on this special occasion."
Eileen's son, Chris, who had flown over from the UK for the celebration, said, "We had a lovely evening and mum was in good form. We only had five people this year, so it was less confusing for her and she could relax more."
However, Eileen is not ready to sit and put her feet up just yet. "Although I have slowed down a lot, I do still look for something new to do each day," she said.
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