At 92 years of age, Ballina resident Christina O’Halloran has been the greatest source of inspiration to her six children, 19 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.
Christina, who now lives with her daughter Linda Mitchell, has endured more than most in the last year as the successive lockdowns have kept her apart from her five other children who are based in the UK.
In addition, she has had to contend with major health challenges, having suffered three strokes and a terrible fall, but the mighty matriarch has soldiered on.
She has resumed a long-abandoned hobby of crocheting and has passed the time under lockdown by lovingly crafting personalised hats for each member of her extended family.
Christina (nee Holden) was born in Killala and emigrated to England at 18 where she met and married her late husband, Jim.
The couple worked hard to raise their family and were delighted to be able to return to Ballina once they retired in 1993. Sadly, Jim passed away just five years later.
Christina’s daughter Lisa contacted the Western People from the UK to share her mother’s inspirational story, saying Christina has an incredible capacity to just get on with things in good times and bad and never stops worrying about her beloved family.
Once she had crocheted her first hat, Christina resolved to make more, personalising each one for each family member with unique colour combinations and lovingly incorporating their initials into the cute creations.
Receiving such a labour of love from 92-year-old Christina has brought incredible joy to each of her family members who have sent her back lots of photographs of them modelling their hats.
“She has inspired us all in her own way – to get to where she is in life and sit there and crochet for others,” Lisa remarked.