But it’s all been worth while.
Later this year, Ms McGrath will walk down the aisle to marry Martin Considine.
Mary is a sprightly 86.
And Martin’s 83.
They recently got engaged after Martin, a widower, popped the question.
Mary recalled: “I thought about it for a few seconds. I was speechless, and said I would.”
Martin told her it was not a joke.
“I told him I’m dead serious and that was it.”
But they’ll have to wait a bit longer to tie the knot.
“We were told we could not marry until three months after we announced we were engaged,” said Mary.
“We wanted to get married sooner, but you have to fill out piles of paperwork and other stuff. It’s a lot of work.”
The two first met at a social event in the Good Shepherd Convent about 10 years ago.
Mary said she does not care what others think about getting married at her age.
“It’s not the years in your life that count, but the life in your years. Age doesn’t count at all. It is the way you feel yourself. We’re both from the city, enjoy a joke and a laugh and are happy to keep each other company,” said Mary.
Martin, who is from St Mary’s Park, and Mary, who lives at the Old Cork Road, will be joined by family and friends for the wedding in St John’s Cathedral later in the year.
Mary dismissed any notions of an exotic honeymoon.
“Martin was a labourer all his life and now he has to labour away here with me. He has to build me a new porch as the place is always wet.
“I might have him up here after the last wedding bell rings starting the work.
“The bricks are in the garden waiting for him. That will be the honeymoon.”