Tuesday 17 October 2017

Couple in Dublin nursing home share the secret to a successful 61-year marriage

Jason Kennedy and Sasha Brady

A happily-married couple who celebrated their 61st anniversary together have shared their secret to a long and joyful marriage.

James and Eileen Finn met at the Galway Races around 66 years ago and this week celebrated their anniversary in Belmont House Nursing Home, where they have lived together since November 2015.

Eileen and James Finn. Photo: Kyran O'Brien
Eileen and James Finn. Photo: Kyran O'Brien

Before retirement, Jim worked in export sales and enjoyed playing golf and volunteered for St. Vincent De Paul. Eileen was a housewife and mother and volunteered for the Samaritans for 26 years.

"Patience and compromise are important," Eileen (94) said.

"Compromise has a lot to do with a happy marriage, I think."

James (92) continued; "When we first met, I didn't know immediately that she was the one for me, but after a while, yes, I did.

Eileen and James Finn. Photo: Kyran O'Brien
Eileen and James Finn. Photo: Kyran O'Brien

"We have travelled around together and lived in England for a long time too."

The duo, who have a combined age of 186 years and have three grown-up children, said they had hard times in the past, but that patience and understanding have always helped them through.

"Jim was away an awful lot with work, travelling around Europe and Africa," Eileen said.

"It wasn't always easy, when the children became teenagers and Jim wasn't around, it was a bit sticky, but we got over it."

The Corkman and Dublin woman added that they love their lives together in Belmont House Nursing Home and feel like they don't have any more worries.

"There's a sense of freedom about it and there are a lot of activities and facilities," James, originally from Youghal, said.

"As well as that, I think we're the longest-married couple living here at the moment," Eileen said.

The pair hope to visit their children soon.

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