John and Mary get married over 40 years after the first...

John and Mary get married over 40 years after the first...
John and Mary get married over 40 years after the first...

Love overcomes everything. Even Covid-19 and the level 5 lockdown restrictions couldn’t stop an Offaly couple from getting married more than 40 years after they first met.

The farmer John Bermingham (86) from the village of Rhode and his longtime love Mary Long (83) exchanged their vows on Friday afternoon in the registration room for civil marriages at the Tullamore Health Center.

It’s the second time they’ve both tied the knot and asked why they decided to get married at this stage in their lives. Mary, whose first marriage was annulled, laughed and replied, “We want to be buried together.”

The marriage was testified by Mr Bermingham’s daughter Carolyn and husband John Fitzgerald, who had traveled from their home in Holycross, Co Tipperary for the ceremony.

The only other people attending the intimate wedding were Carolyn and John’s twin daughters, Robbyn and Alison.

John Bermingham grew up in Terenure, Dublin, and his father Jack, a native of Offaly, was capped for Ireland in the 1921 Five Nations Championship.

The groom later moved to Ballybryan, Rhode and became known locally as a skilled rider.

Mary, originally from Turner’s Cross, Cork, was a Dublin-based beauty consultant and avid swimmer at a young age.

Carolyn Bermingham said it had long been the couple’s desire to get married but they were struggling with the paperwork, particularly regarding the recognition of their father’s American divorce in that state.

“They are old and I knew they wanted to do that,” she said. “Everything is online and on the internet these days and they just couldn’t manage it. They were overwhelmed by all the bureaucracy and found it very impersonal. “

She was very grateful for the help from HSE staff handling marriage registration in Tullamore.

Despite the Covid-19 restrictions, the ceremony went well. For their part, the newly married couple shook off the Covid-19 restrictions, but John quipped afterwards, “It’s a shame we can’t all go for a drink.”

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