'We've gone through an awful lot together'
Mediator and life coach Deirdre O'Halloran (50) and Kay Moran (48), a skincare specialist, both from Cork, have been friends since school.
Deirdre says: "We met at school, worked together then we went to the States – she to New York, me to Boston.
"We got married, had kids and then separated around the same time, but throughout everything we've supported each other.
"I think our friendship has lasted because we're very like-minded and compassionate people, but we're also very different. We've never been too competitive with each other, we each have our own style and are never attracted to the same man!
"I can always rely on Kay to tell me to get off my high horse. At the time I mightn't like it, but we always make up. We know each other so well and respect each other too much not to be honest – I think that's an important part of our friendship.
"I love male company but there is just something special about a good female friend. There is that real Sex And The City thing about being able to chat about anything with your girlfriends, nothing is off boundaries.
"I have two daughters, aged 19 and 20, and I'm very clear with them that, particularly as they get a little older, they'll get the greatest kick out of their girlfriends – they are the ones who are always there."
Kay says: "Deirdre and I have gone through an awful lot of stuff together and I feel I can depend on her for anything. She's one of the few people I feel I could ring at any time, day or night.
"Our friendship has been amazing, it's like counselling at times! Just talking to her and I feel less pressure and stress.
"You could have lots of friends, but I think you're lucky if you have one or two that really 'get' you, the way Deirdre and I get each other."