AN IRISH woman living in the north of England marked her 90th birthday on the same day as the Queen.
Galway native Norah Collins – who resides in St Helens, Merseyside– celebrated the milestone on Thursday, April 21 alongside her family and friends.
Speaking to The Irish Post today, she said: “I’m still tired from yesterday, I began getting ready in the morning for the party. We had afternoon tea for our friends and neighbours and enjoyed the odd drink.”
Norah moved to England in 1954, having previously worked in Galway Hospital, and has three daughters and four grandchildren.
“Everyone brought presents, there’s flowers everywhere,” she added.
In 2006, on the Queen’s 80th birthday, Norah was invited to a lunch at Buckingham Palace with her husband Harry.
“It was a wonderful experience when we visited Buckingham Palace, we were lucky, very fortunate,” Harry said.
This year, Norah received a birthday phone call from local MP Conor McGinn, who is also Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on the Irish in Britain.
In what is believed to be a first in the House of Commons, Mr McGinn wished the Queen a happy birthday in Irish to mark the occasion.
In his speech, Conor noted the important role the Queen had played in British-Irish relations and referred to her visit to Ireland, while also referencing his constituent Norah, who shares the same birthday.
Speaking in Parliament on Thursday, he said: “I rise to wish Her Majesty the Queen many happy returns on behalf of my constituents in St Helens North, one of whom, Norah Collins, also celebrates her 90th birthday today.
“She is originally from County Galway and I thought it was somewhat appropriate that I spoke to her this morning, because of course the Queen has done so much to further good relations between Britain and Ireland.
“As chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on the Irish in Britain, I know that the community here felt special pride at her state visit to Ireland and the reciprocal visit here by the President of Ireland.
“On behalf of the all-party group and the community here I say, ‘Breithlá sona duit a Banríon,’ Happy birthday to the Queen.”