A life well lived, a lucky man, a man who believes in taking it as it comes….a man who can dodge bullets! These are but a few of the phrases that come to mind after speaking to Dave Mullan, who will be celebrating his 100th birthday on Christmas Day.
A familiar face around Omagh, Dave has had an eventful time and throughout his many adventures and occupations, has managed to keep a smile on his face and bound over any obstacles that came his way.
Originally from the isolated townland of Aghaboy, just outside Scotstown and approximately nine miles from Monaghan town, Dave was the fifth in a family of eight and along with parents, Walter and Margaret, brothers, Charles, Thomas, Joseph, Edmund and sisters, Elizabeth and Margaretta and Rachel. Only Margaretta (87) and Rachel (90) are still alive.
He said times were tough back in those days what with the ending of World War I, the Irish War of Independence and Civil War not to mention having to eke a living out of a small farm on poor land. It was what he terms 'a hand to mouth existence'.
Dave described his childhood years as "tough" but added "nobody died of hunger either".
"People generally were finding the going tough throughout the 1920s and 1930s. I don't know how many survived," he said.
He stayed at his local national school until he was 14, but worked hard on the family farm at the same time. His father didn't specialise in any particular type of farming, a bit of this and that just to get by, he said.
Despite the hard times the countryside did him no harm, he says. In fact it saved his life - twice!
Full story in this week's Tyrone Constitution...