Jeremiah Lane is approaching his one hundredth birthday and still a practising doctor.

Doctor Jeremiah Lane was born in 1893. Based in the Cork village of Belgooly he claims to be the oldest general practitioner in Europe.

Jeremiah Lane qualified as a doctor in 1919 and is the sole survivor of his class. He believes that people were healthier in the past because they walked everywhere and did not eat much sugar. Urbanisation and modern farming techniques, according to Doctor Lane, have added to today's health problems.

It is much healthier to be living in the country than to be living in a town or city.

He blames the farmers for destroying the natural water supplies provided by springs.

He says there are a number of reasons for his longevity and good health. Practising in a small village meant that Jeremiah Lane could do his rounds by bicycle which kept him healthy.

Nowadays, it is his fat free diet that keeps him going. He gave up smoking fifty years ago. He began smoking cigarettes as a medical student when his classmates in the anatomy room were constantly smoking around the corpses.

He was taught step dancing by the Lord Mayor of Cork Tomas McCurtain, which gave him good posture and helped him to avoid varicose veins.

In the fight against the Black and Tans, Doctor Lane was medical officer with Tom Barry's Flying Column where the biggest complaint was scabies and not gunshot wounds and he became known as the itch doctor.

When one fellow brought the itch, they all got the itch in time.

In 1966, he retired as dispensary doctor in the village when it was discovered by health officials that he was three years over the age limit.

Doctor Lane still practises today with a small number of private patients and keeps up to date with medical advances by reading medical journals. He plans to finally hang up his stethoscope in around five years.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 8 May 1989. The reporter is George Devlin.