Double celebration for ‘lady in red’ 99-year old Polly

ONE of Liverpool’s oldest supporters is already looking forward to Juergen Klopp’s side regaining their Premier League title next year.

Polly Devenney, Moneygreggan, Newtowncunningham, celebrated her 99th birthday on Monday just a few days after the club’s 30 year wait for the league crown finally came to an end.

“I suppose I’ve waited this long I might as well stay around to see them win it again next year,” she laughed.


Queen of the Devenney clan Polly has eight children, 33 grandchildren, 60 great grandchildren and two great-great grandchildren.

A non-smoker, Polly doesn’t drink. She puts her longevity down to being able to have a laugh and enjoying the craic. She can remember her own late mother and grand mother so she can recall seven generations. Her 60th grand child Zoey Burke is just ten days old.

Polly’s grandson Brendan Devenney is a former Donegal player while he also lined-out with Finn Harps in the League of Ireland.

Her daughter Annette told us: “Mummy never missed a game of Brendan’s while she watches away at the GAA, rugby and football on the television.

“We tried to take her to the bingo once but she was too busy having the craic and missed most of the numbers being called.

“My sister Martina and her late husband Ian were Man United fans so mummy starting supporting Liverpool in badness.” she added.

“She was delighted when they won the title. They had a request played for her on the radio at the weekend and they played the Liverpool anthem ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’. One of her grandsons got her a Liverpool top with Polly 99 on it,” she said.


That top almost saw local Parish Priest Fr Ciaran Harkin turn on his heels when he called to the house on Tuesday to give Polly communion.

“He’s (Fr Ciaran) is a mad Arsenal fan and he wasn’t too happy when he saw the Liverpool jersey draped across mummy’s table. Fr Ciaran even mentioned it at Mass last night,” Annette said.

Before the lockdown Polly enjoyed her trips to Mass and the day centre and it’s been a long time for her without visitors.

“You would hear mummy laughing before you would come in the door of the day centre. She keeps everyone going,” Annette said.

The last word is left with Polly who can’t understand what all the fuss is about.

“I don’t know why there’s a photographer here taking pictures of an old woman,” she said,

When he suggests that he’ll be back next year to picture here getting her cheque from the President, Polly claims that she’ll probably no longer be here.

“However, it was great to watch Liverpool win the league and I hope I’m here for the league again next year,” she smiled.

Born on 29th June 1921 in Deer Park, Burt, Polly (nee Cannon) moved to Newtown with her husband John. They had eight children Gerry (Fahan), Mary (Derry) and Patrick, Annette, Sean, Monica and Martina who all live in Newtown.

Her daughter Margaret was killed in a car accident in 1971. She was fifteen. Her husband Johnny died that same year.

Last year she attended eldest son Gerry’s 80th birthday party.

“She was the life and soul of that party. She enjoys a good laugh. The grand kids and great grand kids keep her going,” Annette said.

“We would be lost without her. She is one in a million and always there for us all may she continue to enjoy good health,” she added.


Receive quality journalism wherever you are, on any device. Keep up to date from the comfort of your own home with a digital subscription.
Any time | Any place | Anywhere

and get access to our archive editions dating back to 2007
Every Thursday
Every Monday

Donegal News is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
Registered in Northern Ireland, No. R0000576. St. Anne's Court, Letterkenny, County Donegal, Ireland