107-year-old from east Belfast shares secrets to a happy life

Embracing life for more than a century, Agnes Thompson has reason to celebrate.

The 107-year-old woman from east Belfast may now potentially be Northern Ireland's oldest person.

Born in 1915, Agnes has lived in the city all of her life.

"I feel the same as I felt yesterday and the day before," she told UTV.

"I haven't got a secret. Everyday is a different day. I'm happy when I'm with all my crowd around me," she added.

Born before partition - Agnes has lived through the biggest events of our time.

Most recently and perhaps most miraculously, she survived Covid-19 twice.

Her life has spanned two world wars and a moon landing. Two pandemics and even Beatlemania.

Through all of it has been what Agnes loves most. Her family.

Agnes was married to her late husband Rabbie for 53 years, having two sons.

She has welcomed seven grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren into her life.

She may have witnessed a changing world, but her heart has always remained in Belfast, her family by her side.

"Family is everything to Granny," said her granddaughter Jean Hill. "She is very much family orientated, loves having her family round, loves being part of everything.

"She will be buzzing for this for days now."

The former mill and factory worker moved into Strathearn Care Home several years ago and staff said her birthday celebration will have meant so much to her.

Walking and being an ice cream fanatic - just two things Agnes says have given her a long and happy life.

But what about any other tips for generations following her?

"Be clean, perfect and be happy."

A simple message, from an extraordinary woman.

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