Ellie’s a star of silver screen ... aged 106

Ellie Lawther's secret to her longevity is 'hard work, plain food, good food'
Ellie Lawther's secret to her longevity is 'hard work, plain food, good food'

A 106-year-old Belfast woman is among those sharing her recollections about life in a newly made film.

Ellie Lawther is among 30 interviewees aged 100 or over who are featured in a silver screen documentary called ‘Older Than Ireland’ – referencing the fact they were born well before the Free State and Northern Ireland existed.

Ellie Lawther with the film's director Alex Fegan (blue shirt) and director of photography Colm Nicell

Ellie Lawther with the film's director Alex Fegan (blue shirt) and director of photography Colm Nicell

Ellie was widowed at age 80 and moved into her current home in St Finnian’s, east Belfast, aged 85.

She had been asked about her memories including her first kiss and the first time she saw an aeroplane (something which actually turned out to be a zeppelin airship).

Geraldine Maguire, the 47-year-old manager from south Belfast, said she is often asked the secret to her longevity, and always replies: “Hard work, plain food, good food.”

She sticks to things like porridge, meat and potatoes – and still watches her weight.

If she thinks she is gaining pounds, Miss Maguire said she will abandon sweet treats.

“She’s very disciplined,” she said.

The film has already premiered in Dublin, and begins showing soon at Belfast’s Queen’s Film Theatre.

Ellie plus about 10 others plan to go to watch it together.

She was asked, via Miss Maguire, if she wished to say anything about her screen debut.

In response, she maintained there is “nothing special” about her life.

She added: “I’m still here – I don’t know why I’m still here, but I feel good and I’m well looked after.”