Meet the world’s oldest family.
The Donnelly family from Northern Ireland have been awarded the title from the Guinness Book of World Records at their childhood home.
The 13 brothers and sisters, Sean (93), Maureen (92), Eileen (90), Peter (87), Mairead (86), Rose (85), Tony (83), Terry (81), Seamus (80), Brian (76), Kathleen (75), Colm (73) and Leo (72) were awarded the Guinness World Record for the siblings with the highest combined age in March but celebrated the achievement this week.
Although a day of celebration, the gathering was also an emotional occasion, as the idea to register the siblings for the record was that of the family’s youngest sibling, Austin Donnelly, who sadly died in 2015.
The siblings are the children of Peter and Ellen Donnelly, who welcomed 16 children throughout their marriage. While Leo said his dad “died young” at 79, his mum Ellen Mullen lived well into her 90s.
Despite fathering 16 children, Leo’s father Peter had been an only child, while his mother Ellen was one of 14. Peter was a very successful farmer and entrepreneur, with a successful apple empire. The Armagh man was one of the first people in Northern Ireland to have a tractor, and to secure a license to export apples and potatoes to the UK.