A love still in bloom after 70 years of married bliss
IT is a marriage that has survived seven decades and a world war.
Frank and Mary Denvir were yesterday celebrating 70 years of marital bliss at their home in Union Hall, Co Cork, and shared their secrets to happiness. According to Mrs Denvir, it is thanks to her husband being "a good boy".
"He never smoked or drank; he was a good boy," she said. "Our time was taken up with our children; that was our concern. It's a different world from today that we grew up in.
"Be prepared to come and go a bit," was her husband's advice. "That's the secret to a happy marriage."
Now in their 90s, the couple from Glasgow moved to the picturesque fishing village to retire 23 years ago. They will mark their anniversary with a special Mass at nearby Myross Wood today, surrounded by family and friends.
But it wasn't all plain sailing for the Denvirs. The couple were parted by the call of duty just weeks into their marriage and Mary (now 91) waved Frank (97) off to war.
Saying her goodbyes at Central Station in Glasgow in 1942, she didn't know if he would return alive.
Conscripted to join the British army in 1941, Mr Denvir joined the Irish Guards because it was the only regiment that offered the last rites, in keeping with his Catholic faith.
He returned from army training in Surrey to propose to Mary at Christmas, 1941. They married six months later and despite the difficulties of rationing, they managed to gather the ingredients together for their wedding cake.
And just two years into their marriage, Mr Denvir was dispatched to Normandy, 10 days after the allies' D-day invasion.
Five months later he was seriously injured during the closing stages of the devastating Battle of Arnhem in the Netherlands.
The events of the battle were depicted in the infamous World War Two film 'A Bridge Too Far'.
Flown by plane back to Bath in England, he did not regain consciousness for a week. But Mr Denvir made a full recovery and the couple went on to have eight children.
The family spent annual holidays in Ireland, renting pier- side cottages in Union Hall during the 1960s, before moving permanently in 1989.