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Sunday 4 June 2023 Dublin: 13°C
# 50 years later
Love, life and marriage: An RTÉ documentary will feature couples who've seen it all this evening
Eight couples who’ve all been married over 50 years will feature in tonight’s documentary.


KEES AND ANNEKE Vogelaar have been married for 54 years. They moved from Holland to Ireland over 50 years ago.

They ran an apple farm, and count Bulmers among their customers.

Their eldest son Mike, who was a father of four himself, died due to a heart attack several years ago.

“We were so lucky to have him so long even though it was awful [when he died],” they said.

Tonight, the Vogelaars and seven other couples will appear in an RTÉ documentary entitled Golden: Our 50 Years of Marriage, where they cover how they’ve managed to make their marriages work for so long.

Ireland may look unrecognisable to the way it did when these couples first met, and this programme will chart the key events in these couples’ lives, from their wedding day, becoming parents, death and illness and what makes love and marriage work, against a backdrop of huge social and cultural change in the country.

From the old photographs, faded letters to the vintage clothes and old memorabilia, the couples take a trip down memory lane and describe their lifelong journeys together.

The programme features:

  • Ned and Eileen Cusack, who’ve been married for 73 years. They have seven children together and live in Lough Corrib.
  • Joan and Pierce Butler have literally known each other their whole lives, having grown up on the same road in Rathgar. Joan is a Catholic and Pierce is a Protestant, and they’ve been married 54 years. They have eight kids.
  • Paddy and Joan Darcy met in Inchicore and got married 55 years ago. Aged 76, Paddy still works as a decorator. Joan goes the gym every day and she and Paddy remain avid fans of ballroom dancing to this day.

Golden: Our 50 Years of Marriage airs tonight at 9.35pm on RTÉ One.

Read: Mary Mitchell O’Connor: ‘There is sexism and bullying in the Dáil’

Read: Leo says he won’t be stopping his ministers at the airport if they want to travel to North Korea

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