Read Mary Kennedy every month in Ireland’s Own


At the end of last month I reached another milestone in my life. I turned sixty-six. A lot of people will wonder why I should feel that’s a special birthday.

My goodness, there was enough excitement when I celebrated my sixty-fifth birthday last year! And a lot of publicity around the fact that I was compelled to retire then from Nationwide because I was a staff member in RTE.
It’s no secret that I did not want to leave the programme that I had embraced enthusiastically for fifteen years.
I am a firm believer that we live in a very special country and it was a pleasure to have the opportunity, on Nationwide, to showcase the beautiful landscape, the enterprising people and the community initiatives right around the island of Ireland.

The showcasing continues with Anne Cassin and Blathnaid Ní Chofaigh presenting the programme and the good news for me is that, having reached the landmark age of sixty-six, I am now the proud holder of a travel card which enables me to travel freely the length and breadth of the country by rail and by bus.

I am really looking forward to revisiting some of the wonderful places I have explored over the years while working for Nationwide, not to mention being able to take the train to Limerick to visit my daughter and her family. I’ll arrive relaxed and energised, ready to race around after little Paddy, having spent two hours, admiring the countryside, drinking tea and reading the paper, courtesy of Iarnród Éireann.

The fact that I am now eligible for the state pension and the “free travel” got me thinking about the process of ageing and our attitudes to the passage of the years.

Continue reading in this week’s Ireland’s Own