Offaly couple get married 40 years after their first meeting

The level 5 ban couldn’t stop an elderly Offaly couple from marrying more than 40 years after they first met.

Rhode farmer, 86, John Bermingham and longtime love Mary Long, 83, exchanged vows this afternoon in the civil marriage registration room at Tullamore Health Center.

The marriage was witnessed by John’s daughter Carolyn Bermingham 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, played rugby for Ireland in 1921.

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

Happy Bride Mary, originally from Turner’s Cross, Cork City, was a Dublin-based beauty consultant and keen swimmer at a young age, delighted to get ready for her day trip.

Carolyn Bermingham, John’s daughter, said the couple had long wanted to get married, but they were struggling with the paperwork.

“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 the entire bureaucracy and found it very impersonal. ”

She was very grateful for the help from the marriage registration service in Tullamore and despite the restrictions of Covid-19, 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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