The story of Irish grandmother Nancy Stewart, who lived to be just a couple of weeks short of her 108th birthday making her Ireland’s oldest woman, is going to the United States.
Author Louise Coghlan is about to travel to America to share the story of her grandmother who brought joy to thousands during COVID lockdown.
During the early isolated days of COVID, Louise Coghlan moved into her granny Nancy Stewart’s cottage in Clonard, Meath, to care for her.
The pair took to posting and chatting live on Facebook in an effort to keep spirits up for themselves and others.
With more than 21,000 followers from across Ireland and the globe, Granny Nancy quickly became renowned as an Irish icon of family, faith and cultural pride.
Granny Nancy invited viewers to virtually join Lou and herself in a cup of tea and chat, inspiring many with her wisdom and sense of humour right up to the very end.
Louise Coghlan- who has been published in The Irish Independent, U Magazine & The Irish Times– would begin documenting their journey in the book, Granny Nancy, Ireland’s Oldest Lady Who Lived, Loved and Laughed for 107 Years.
Unfortunately, Nancy passed away before it could be published. She passed away peacefully in her bed 21 September 2021, just 25 days before her 108th birthday.
More than 50,000 people attended her funeral virtually.
The book, independently published and promoted, has sold so well that Louise is on her 3rd reprint since its launch in October 2022.
Louise would tour the book around the 32 counties of Ireland with her Granny Nancy’s Cup of Tea Book Tour with the hope that Granny Nancy might again bring people together to have a good cup of tea and a chat.
Louise is now travelling to America to spread Nancy’s message of hope there. She also revealed to the Irish World that there are plans to come to the UK this year.
Louise will be in Boston speaking at the Irish Cultural Centre on St Patrick’s Day itself.
Louise told The Irish World: “It’s a big leap of faith.
“I’m really looking forward to it, it’s magical really.
“I’m going to America to spread her good news to spread my own bit of hope and light as well.
“It’s granny’s legacy.
“It’s me and granny on the plane. Granny is in every part of my fibre and I’m just going out to share her life and share her wisdom. I wouldn’t be doing this without her.
“I wouldn’t have had a story like this to tell without granny living the life she did and being the person she was, so she’s very much in my heart.
“My heart is very much broken and missing her so to be honest it’s very emotional, the grief is so close by and the absence as well as her presence, it’s an emotional one.
“We created such relationships through our Facebook page Living and Laughing with Lou.
“I set that up at the start of the lockdown and me and granny used to stream live and everyone fell in love with granny and we fell in love with everyone.
“It’s the Facebook family who have made it all (book tours) happen so it’s people who me and granny never got to meet but I had promised we would meet all these people or we would try our best when things lifted so it was unfortunate that she was gone before that.
“My life was so restricted when we were cocooned even though we had the time of our lives and to think that she’s travelling with me in my heart as I take such a huge step from living such a restricted life to something I could only dream of.
“Granny has made it all happen and I’m a big believer in that, there’s been so many good things have happened to keep me looking up and to keep me going and I have no doubt about it, I have a great faith in she’s very close.
“When we were writing the book, she said, ‘You make sure you get this book whether I’m here or I’m in Heaven. You go do it’.
“When I was putting it together, I relived all of it. That’s the only thing that was really hard. I was grieving intensely and watching her back. I’m so happy I got through that pain to do something that has brought so many people so much joy.
“I’ll always miss her, that will never go away but I smile an awful lot because of her and I’ve met so many amazing people.
“I continued the page after she left and I thought, ‘Maybe no one will want the story of me’ and to feel such a huge hug and the constant support. They love me and I love them and we’re connected through this magic little lady that lived for 107 years and that will never go away.
“No matter where I go people take care of me and every time those moments happen I look up to the sky and say, ‘Thank you, Granny. This is because of you’.”
Are there plans to tour elsewhere such as over here? “I’m coming to London hopefully before this year is out.
“There’s a number of places I’ve been invited to, elsewhere in England, Scotland and I’m sure Wales would be in the mix as well.”
Louise Coghlan is in New York 8- 13 March, Boston 13- 18 March and Cape Cod 18- 24 March.
For more information, click here.