Gerontology Wiki
Brigid Dirrane
Brigid Dirrane
Brigid Dirrane in her centenarian years.
Birth: 16 November 1894
Oatquarter, Innishmor, County Galway, Ireland
Death: 31 December 2003
St Francis Nursing Home, Newcastle, Galway city, County Galway, Ireland
Age: 109 years, 45 days
Country: Ireland IRL

Brigid Dirrane (neé Gillan; 16 November 1894 – 31 December 2003) was an Irish centenarian who, at the time of her death, was the second-oldest living person in Ireland behind Margaret Dolan.


Brigid Dirrane was born as Brigid Gillan on 16 November 1894 in in the townland of Oatquarter, Innishmor, Ireland, the youngest of eight children. She was imprisoned during the War of Independence, and spent time in Mountjoy Prison, where she witnessed the hangings of both Kevin Barry and Thomas Whelan. She emigrated to the US in 1927, and canvassed for John F Kennedy during her time in Boston. In 1966, after the death of her first husband, Ned Dirrane, Dirrane returned to the Aran Islands to live with his brother, who she later married. When her second husband died, Dirrane had her two wedding rings moulded together to symbolise her love for the two brothers. There were no children from the first marriage, but her second husband had three children when she married him. In 1996, Dirrane became the oldest person in the world to be awarded an honorary degree. She wrote her autobiography, called Woman of Aran, at the age of 103.

Dirrane passed away peacefully at St Francis Nursing Home in Newcastle, Galway city, Ireland on 31 December 2003, at the age of 109 years, 45 days.