Gerontology Wiki
John Joe Cleary
John Joe Cleary
John Joe Cleary on his 106th birthday.
Birth: 17 March 1875
Mullinahone, Tipperary, Ireland
Death: 8 September 1982
Cashel, Tipperary, Ireland
Age: 107 years, 175 days
Country: Ireland IRL

John Joe Cleary (17 March 1875 – 8 September 1982) was an Irish centenarian who was the first Irishman ever to reach the age of 107, and the oldest Irish-born man ever until James Costello (1881-1988) of the USA surpassed him.


John Joe Cleary was born on 17 March 1875 in Mullinahone, Tipperary, Ireland to parents John and Anastatia (née Maher) Cleary. He later married and had two sons and one daughter. He worked as a labourer.

At the age of 91, in 1966, Cleary was admitted to St. Patrick’s Hospital in Cashel, Tipperary, Ireland. On his 100th birthday in 1975, he received a gift of £50 from Ireland’s then-President, Cearbhall O Dalaigh. On his 105th and 106th birthdays, he was presented with a birthday cake. In 1981, on his 106th birthday, he claimed that the secret to his long life was: “Plenty of hard work, fresh air and a healthy, active and occupied mind - and an interest in what goes on around you.”

John Joe Cleary passed away on 8 September 1982 at the age of 107 years, 175 days. He was survived by nine grandchildren and 27 great-grandchildren. He was the oldest man ever to die in Ireland for 31 years until his age was surpassed by Luke Dolan in late 2013.


Ireland's Oldest Living Man Titleholders (VE)

Jeremiah McCarthy • Unknown • Patrick BerryJohn Joe ClearyThomas KeaveneyPatrick WardPeter Harte • Unknown • Frank PeardPatrick O'Flaherty • John O'Leary • James Gavin • Carthage Bohan • John Ryan • Tobias Burke • Tom Barry • Leo Billings • Patrick Greene • Dan Keating • Maiben Roberts • Paddy Gleeson • Michael Fitzsimons • Luke Dolan • Michael Lambert • John O'Brien • Unidentified • Vincent GavinAnonymous