First 30 'the hardest', say lovebirds as they toast 1,100 years of marriage
LOVE is the strongest emotion - and 20 Irish couples have proven it by showing their affections have lasted at total of 1,100 years.
The 20 couples are each celebrating 55 years of wedded bliss - the equivalent of a millennium of marital status.
Amongst those celebrating were John and Angela Murray and Maurice and Theresa O'Rahilly
And their advice for younger Irish couples who are only setting out on their journey in life together?
"The first 30 years is the toughest!"The couples met up through the Cork-based active retirement group, Young At Heart.
They decided to organise a joint celebration to mark their emerald wedding anniversaries at Frankfield Golf Club.
All 20 couples got married in 1960 - some after just a couple of months of courtship.
Over the course of their married lives they have witnessed a total transformation in Irish society.
They have seen Ireland emerge from the grim austerity of the late Eamon de Valera era through the economic boom of Taoiseach Sean Lemass' policies of the 1960s, through the social turmoil of the 1970s and right to the modern multi-cultural, post-Celtic Tiger Ireland of today.
The 20 couples have been married so long they have seen the price of a pint soar from around 5c in 1960 to over €4 today.
Over that period the average weekly manufacturing wage in Ireland has gone from less than €10 in 1960 to over €600 today.
All agreed that the secret to a successful marriage is: "Give and take, trust, plenty of time for each other and a little romance."
They also agreed it was vital for couples to find time for each other despite the demands of children and grandchildren.
They admitted that celebrating together made their emerald anniversaries all the more special this year.