A Co. Meath woman reckons she has Ireland’s oldest Easter egg – and is open to challenges.
Dolores McMahon (60) never opened her Easter egg when her dad gave it to her 46 years ago and cherished it even more when he died a few months later.
Well-known Dolores who has worked in Tunney Opticians in Navan for almost 30 years admits that the egg has gone a ‘bit mouldy’ but she can’t bring herself to get rid of it.
“I was 14 years of age and my mum and dad gave me this amazing Easter egg. In 1973, the eggs were very plain and there wasn’t much choice but this one was in a beautiful box and the chocolate egg, which was in a clear, hard cellophane wrapping, had iced flowers on it,” she said.
“It’s a luxurious Fullers chocolate egg filled with chocolate toffee sweets and looks as good today as it did last year – I won’t say it looks as good as the day I bought it,” she laughed.
“I remember thinking it was so beautiful that I couldn’t eat it so I held onto it and I wrote on the inside of the box – the date of 1973 and that it was given to me by my parents, Bridie and Jack McEntee.”
“As the weeks passed, the egg was moved onto a shelf in my wardrobe but I knew at that stage I wasn’t going to eat it because God only knows what was growing on it.
“I don’t know how it escalated. The days turned into weeks, then months and it was still there.
“Then my dad died four months later and it became even more sentimental, in that it was the last Easter egg he gave me.”
When Dolores moved to work in Dublin, the egg came with her and then back to Navan when she got married to Hugh, where it was put on display in a cabinet.
“It’s a well-travelled egg that has yet to be hatched,” she chuckled.
“All my nieces and nephews and even my own daughter think it’s mad that I held onto it for so long, but it’s a great talking point. I’ve threatened so many times to put it in the wheelie bin, but I can’t bring myself to do it.
Dolores McMahon with her never-opened Easter Egg. Pic: Seamus Farrelly
“It’s still in the original hard plastic and you can see it has gone off a bit – kind of like half-melted chocolate.”
“I have to say though, each year I have to check if it’s alive or dead. I don’t know how much longer it will hold on.”
She also has the top tier of her wedding cake – after nearly thirty years.
“I married Huge on the 8/9/89 so we are 30 years married this year. I’ve still the top tier of my wedding cake, iced with flowers, wrapped with cellophane and tin foil in my kitchen sideboard”
Whatever about the wedding cake, Dolores would love to know if she is indeed the holder of Ireland’s oldest Easter egg.
“It’s probably one of the oldest but I’d love to know if someone out there has one that is even older.”