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BFFs for life? How to make your friendships last, by the people who have done it across decades and distances

As a new book suggests each of us will have just five intimate friends over our lifetime, we ask the people who have sustained their bond to share their stories

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Ruth Hornfeck, left, and Ann Duggan have been friends for 51 years. Photo: Clare Keogh

Ruth Hornfeck, left, and Ann Duggan have been friends for 51 years. Photo: Clare Keogh

Robin Dunbar, Professor of Evolutionary Psychology, University of Oxford

Robin Dunbar, Professor of Evolutionary Psychology, University of Oxford

Yvonne Redmond (left) and Bobbye Jo Bailey pictured in Connemara, where Bobbye Jo was proposed to

Yvonne Redmond (left) and Bobbye Jo Bailey pictured in Connemara, where Bobbye Jo was proposed to

Linda O’Hara, life coach at Tally Coaching

Linda O’Hara, life coach at Tally Coaching

Left to right: Daniel Coady, Matty Molloy, Ray Shannon and Tom Connery

Left to right: Daniel Coady, Matty Molloy, Ray Shannon and Tom Connery

Ann Duggan, left, and Ruth Hornfeck first met through work. Photo: Clare Keogh

Ann Duggan, left, and Ruth Hornfeck first met through work. Photo: Clare Keogh

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Ruth Hornfeck, left, and Ann Duggan have been friends for 51 years. Photo: Clare Keogh

In 1970, two friends met in England when they were training to be air stewardesses. Ruth Hornfeck (76) and Ann Duggan (74) were both from Cork, and although they flew only twice together in the course of their careers, a strong friendship was born.

It would see them travel all over the world sharing adventures like the time they sprinted up the hairpin bends of Machu Picchu, racing against a busload of tourists, to triumphantly secure the last room in the hotel at the summit.


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