By Michelle Crean

 

Ireland’s oldest man, 107-year-old Michael O’Connor, this week said that he is looking forward to “life without fear” after receiving the first dose of the Comirnaty Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine on Wednesday.

 

RELIEF: Ireland’s oldest man Michael O’Connor (107) was relieved after receiving the Pfizer vaccine to protect against COVID-19. He’s pictured with Dr Eleanor Johnson, Dr Ken Keohane and Dr Darren Quirke at Deenagh Torc Medical Practice, Reeks Gateway. Photo: Eamonn Keogh

Michael, from Muckross, was one of many older residents in the community who was administered the vaccine by Dr Eleanor Johnson and Dr Ken Keohane at Deenagh Torc Medical Practice, Reeks Gateway, on Wednesday morning as part of the rollout for people over the age of 85 years.

“The whole experience was wonderful,” Michael told the Killarney Advertiser this week.

“I’m delighted to have the vaccine and the reception I got on arrival was unbelievable. They gave me a standing ovation. I felt I was at a party, such was the joyous atmosphere. After a year at home, it was great to see them all. Afterwards, I was very tired and slept a lot, but today (Thursday), I’m full of energy and hope. I’m looking forward to the second vaccine, and, please God, life without fear.”

Micheal was born in Glencar and wasn’t expected to live past the age of six after contracting the Spanish Flu over 100 years ago. He has also lived through the War of Independence, the Civil War, World War One and Two.

Michael’s daughter Maureen added that he was excited to be out and about after being housebound for a whole year due to fear of contracting the virus, and was “mesmerised” by everything he saw.
“He was happy out. Everything went well. The sun was hitting the rocks and he said that “there was hope for the future”.”

He is set to receive his second dose of the vaccine in four weeks time on St Patrick’s Day.