18th October 2022 TheSqTallaght

My name is Bridie Sweeney and I am 91 years of age. I was born in Tallaght and have lived here my whole life.

I suppose over the years I have seen it all. The opening of The Square 32 years ago with Taoiseach Charles Haughey, I was here for that and met him that day and even the long awaited Penneys.

I have five children, 10 grandchildren and 17 great grandchildren. My husband Gerry passed away 25 years ago, I got married at 21 and would have been 70 years married this year. We were very happy together.

I love to work and I am still working today. Back in my day when you got married you had to give up work. I couldn’t stay at home. I enjoy working so I had to do something.

Working with the community was also something I wanted to do and help in any way I could. I have been working with St Vincent de Paul for over 50 years. I have been there that long there have been about 5 or 6 different managers.

I have always lived with the idea of if I have an hour I must use that hour to do something or to help someone. If I heard someone down the road needed something I wouldn’t run but I would help get that person sorted with the means I know. I am not there for any glory, I just like to help.

The Square has played a big part also in a lot of the charity work I do. I want to pay a special mention to Jack Martin in Management here also at this time.

I am part of the Christmas Meals which help to give Christmas dinners to anyone that needs them. I used to run a day centre and we would have maybe 50 people there and then whoever else needed it we always looked after them.

Since Jack Martin came here to Tallaght and The Square in particular he has been such a wonderful help when it came to all this. He let us collect in the Square to raise the funds we needed for the Christmas Dinners.

Jack does all this in his stride, he is a very special man. He might not know this but many people I meet in hospital who are very sick and have had the dinners delivered will mention to me the lovely dinners they got. That is thanks to Jack.

I have been Lord Mayor of Tallaght twice and Tallaght Person of the Year twice, I also work in Tallaght Hospital providing Eucharistic ministry in the wards.

I am certainly kept busy and it keeps me young. I love helping people.

My advice to people today for living a great life is to get up and think of others and not yourself.

I joke that the President will ring to wish me a happy 100th Birthday when the time comes, but I may be busy working that day!