An 83-year-old farmer and his other half of more than forty years exchanged vows in a civil marriage restriction room on Friday afternoon (October 23rd).
John Birmingham and 83-year-old Mary Long met in 1976 with this being the second time for both to tie the knot.
They got married in Tullamore Health, Centre, Co. Offaly in the company of John’s daughter, Carolyn, her husband, John Fitzgerald, and John’s twin daughters, Robbyn and Alison.
John’s daughter, Carolyn, told RTÉ News that the pair longed to get married for years, but there were “a lot of hard times” due to issues with paperwork.
Mary’s marriage had been annulled, but John’s American divorce was not recognised in Ireland. “The solicitor and I got to work on it and got dad an Irish divorce and that only came through lately.”
“When it happened, it happened very quickly. The registrar, Geraldine, really ran with the whole thing and really wanted to help them.”
She acknowledged the efforts of the marriage registration service in Tullamore Health Centre.
Despite Covid-19 restrictions, the wedding went according to plan, with John adding “It’s a pity we all can’t go for a drink”.