Tuesday 23 January 2018

John (95) and Bridget (90) celebrate 70th wedding anniversary

John and Bridget Hegarty and some of their great grandchildren
John and Bridget Hegarty and some of their great grandchildren
John and Bridget Hegarty from Glenties, Co Donegal cutting the cake

Stephen Maguire

ONE of Ireland's oldest married couples celebrated 70 years of wedded bliss this week and put the success of their relationship down to "putting up with each other".

Just two other people joined John and Bridget Hegarty when they celebrated their wedding in 1944.

Devoted John (95) and Bridget (90) had a simple wedding ceremony and were joined by their best man and maid of honour for breakfast before returning to work that morning.

But the Co Donegal couple were surrounded by up to 80 members of their family and friends when they celebrated their wedding anniversary on Sunday last.

The couple, from Glenties, have four children, 17 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.

One of the couple's grandchildren, Muriel Hegarty, said the happy couple have put the secret of their long-lasting relationship down to patience and understanding.

"Somebody asked granny what was the secret to their lasting marriage and she said she puts up with grandad.

"And when somebody asked him the same question, he gave the same answer," laughed Muriel.

John and Bridget first met in 1942, when John spotted Bridget (nee Carr form Frosses) across Joe Kennedy's dancehall and asked her to dance.

The couple were married in Edeninfagh Church on February 16, 1944, by the late Fr Daniel Molloy.

The bridesmaid was the late Mamie McCahill and the best man was the late Eddie O'Donnell.


Unfortunately cameras were not plentiful at the time and the couple have no picture of their wedding day. Not only did the hard-working couple never take a honeymoon, but they haven't even been out of Ireland.

"They never had a honeymoon as people didn't have honeymoons then. They have been too busy raising a family and working to go on holiday."

John still drives every day and also farms on his holding in Meenalaragan.

"Grandad is very sharp still and he picked out all the readings for the mass which we had in the house to celebrate their 70th anniversary," added Muriel.

While John still works the farm on a daily basis, Bridget passes the time with her great- grandchildren and is also a dab hand at embroidery.

Irish Independent

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