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Eileen Bladen died in her home in Fuengirola. SUR
Popular Irish resident on the Costa del Sol dies just a few weeks before her 102nd birthday
Obituary

Popular Irish resident on the Costa del Sol dies just a few weeks before her 102nd birthday

Eileen Bladen, who was born in Dublin on 19 June 1922, lived on the coast for 40 years, first settling in Mijas in 1984, before moving to Fuengirola to live with her daughter

Tony Bryant

Fuengirola

Wednesday, 12 June 2024, 09:48

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One of the Costa del Sol’s oldest expat residents has died in her home in Fuengirola just a few weeks before her 102nd birthday. Eileen Bladen, who was born in Dublin on 19 June 1922, lived on the coast for 40 years, first settling in Mijas in 1984, before moving to Fuengirola to live with her daughter, Hilary.

Growing up in Ireland with five brothers is one of the things that Eileen told this newspaper on her centenary that shaped her future, because she learned from a young age how to shoot, fish, ride horses and participate in sporting activities such as rugby.

After achieving university qualifications, she joined the Red Cross in Dublin and trained as a nurse. She met her husband, Barry, who had been a POW on Nagasaki, at the end of WWII, and they moved to England a short while later. The couple had four children, but Eileen’s husband died aged 60, and after the initial shock, she came to Mijas for a short break, although she made an on-the-spot decision to stay in Spain.

Her daughter said that it was her “rational decision” to move to Spain that helped her live a long and healthy lifestyle.

Eileen celebrated her 100th birthday at a restaurant in Fuengirola in 2022, an event that was attended by family members from the UK, Ireland, France, America and Dubai.

She received a special commemorative coin from the Irish president the following year to mark her 101st birthday.

“My mum passed away on 1 June very peacefully in her sleep. We did have a celebration service in the church while she was still with us. She was very popular among the local expat and Spanish community and had always been seen out and about on her scooter. She will be missed by all generations of the family and her wide circle of friends,” Eileen’s daughter told SUR in English.

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