Limerick couple die 25 hours apart in nursing home after 70 years together

Terence and Maureen Byrnes

Neasa Cumiskey

A couple who spent 70 years together were buried side-by-side on Monday after dying just over a day apart.

Terence (Terry) and Maureen (Mary) Byrnes, of Watergate in Limerick city, died “peacefully” at Millbrae Lodge Nursing Home in Newport, Co Tipperary, last week.

The couple died just 25 hours apart, surrounded by their loving family

They were reunited for a final time when they were laid to rest at Mount St Lawrence Cemetery in Limerick on Monday afternoon.

Their joint funeral mass had taken place earlier in the day at St Michael’s Church on Denmark Street.

Fr Chris O’Donnell described them as “two beautiful people” as he welcomed mourners who gathered in the church to remember them.

The priest invited Terence and Maureen’s eldest child, Mary, to celebrate their “long and well-lived lives together”.

Mary said: “Itall began when they started courting when Mam was just 16 years-of-age at the time. Dad was a frequent visitor to her parents’ home in Watergate in front of the walls of Limerick as he was friends with her brothers.”

She told the congregation that her father had to leave for England to find work, but their relationship continued despite the distance, and they later got engaged.

Mr and Mrs Byrnes wed in July 1955 and moved to London that night but returned to Ireland several months later after Terence got work as a carpenter in Limerick.

“They have loved and lived in Limerick ever since,” their daughter said, adding that the pair were “a force of nature together”.

“Terence was a devoted husband and Maureen a loving wife through their entire life. Their grandchildren and great grandchildren gave them great joy and happiness. They loved to see them call to Watergate and Millbrae Lodge Nursing Home in Newport.

“On behalf of the family we would like to express our deep appreciation for all the care and dignity given to Maureen and Terence during their stay, and the carers who helped them in Watergate.

“Through good times, bad times, sad times and hard times, as a family it has given us great consolation that they are out of suffering and together forever. One final message for our mum and dad is we love you both to heaven and back.”

Terence and Maureen will be lovingly remembered by Mary and their other children Ger, Margaret, Dianne, Evelyn, and Noel, as well as their grandchildren, great-grandchildren, sons-in-law, daughters-in-law, nephews, nieces, other relatives, and many friends.