By Michelle Crean

The weekend just gone is the most romantic of the year – but it was more so for one couple as they marked 50 years of married life together. On Saturday last Seán and Mary O’Keeffe, Lisheen, Gneeveguilla, celebrated their golden wedding anniversary.

On Saturday February 13 1971, Valentine’s weekend, they were married in St Joseph’s Church by Canon O’Neill, surrounded by their family, many friends and neighbours.

They met at a dance in Vaughan’s Hall in Ballydesmond. Their wedding reception was held at the International Hotel Killarney and they travelled around Ireland for their honeymoon, taking in places such as Kinsale and Dublin.

Unfortunately, they had to return a week earlier than planned as Seán’s mother fell ill.

Mary (nee Dineen) from Knockeenagullane, Knocknagree had her dress made for her by Mrs Horan of Ardmhuire, Rathmore, their daughter Marie explained.

“Her two sisters Kathleen and Eileen were her bridesmaids and Seán’s brother Tim and his cousin Dan Joe O’Keeffe were best men on the big day.”

Both worked together tirelessly on the family farm and also ran their own grocery store for many years. They went on to have four children, twins Helen and Tadhgie, followed by Marie, and then Catherine. The couple also have 10 grandchildren which they adore.

“Due to COVID restrictions, celebrations must be postponed but the plan is to mark this milestone as soon as the country reopens again and when both have received their vaccinations.”

And 2021 is a very special year for the O’Keeffe family as Seán also celebrates his 90th birthday on July 12.

“Hopefully lockdown will be over by then and both occasions can be celebrated fittingly.”