Willie O'Mahony gets a seasonal kiss from Mrs Claus (Breda Nixon) under the mistletoe at the Ballylanders Day Care Centre party. (AOD-d)

“I think it has to be a record.” Ballylanders’ veteran Willie O’Mahony, departs this nugget of wisdom as he explains that this is his 26th consecutive year attending the Christmas party for Our Lady’s Day Care Centre in Ballylanders.

The man in his 90s attended his first Christmas party there in 1991 and hasn’t missed it since. Willie gives me the run down on the party, as he tucks into his Christmas dinner of turkey and ham with all the trimmings.

“They have the same dinner every year and later they will cut the cake,”, says the Ballylanders man. I gather that cards, held on a Wednesday night, is his favourite activity at the day care centre. They play 45 and it can be quite competitive, he admits saying: “It’s aggressive, but it could be more aggressive.”

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