A Limerick couple married for more than 53 years have died within days of each other, after raising three kids between them.
Maura Moore died aged 86 with her husband Paddy, 85, passing away just 72 hours later. Their daughter Mary said: "It was like he didn't want to go on without her".
Tributes have been paid across Limerick to the couple, with their partnership described as a "real true love story".
The pair courted on the streets of Ballinacurra Weston on Limerick's southside and, despite later moving across the River Shannon to the northside, retained a love of their home parish until their dying day, with Paddy being one of the founders of Hyde Rangers soccer club.
Maura, who died on New Year's Eve and Paddy, who passed on Friday, January 2, were laid to rest earlier this week following a joint funeral in Our Lady of Lourdes Church.
Daughter Mary, who is their middle child, said: "Both had such a great loyalty to Limerick and were proud of its heritage. They introduced their grandchildren to King John’s Castle and the Walls of Limerick.
They attended all the St Patrick’s Days until they couldn’t. They both followed sports and loved to discuss the match results with their grandsons.
Indeed, the grandsons played soccer for the Hyde Rangers club, which Paddy played a key role in forming back in 1973.
The pair got married at the age of 33 in 1966, and brought up three children, Mary, Pat and Joanne.
“They did everything together. As parents they were always of huge support for us as children. When we succeeded in different things, in work and in sport, they played a big part in all our lives.
"They were there at every event, supporting both us and our grandchildren. And always around to support you if you needed a helping hand,” their eldest daughter added.
The pair had a strong work ethic, Paddy working at McMahon’s in the Dock Road, and Maura taking jobs in Eircom, Infolab and Costello’s, as well as being the homemaker.
“Their work ethic was huge,” Mary said.
“They got out and worked. We all worked as teenagers, and even throughout our own lives, this has shown. We have all done well. This is the way they taught us.”
They showed great love to their children, and then their grandchildren.
”There was never anything negative. Christmas was a special time, birthdays were never forgotten. Any time our kids were there and we needed a few bob, there was no problem.
"For everything they were there: communions, christenings, birthdays and graduations. But they weren’t the type of parents who told you what to do at all. They let you find your own way.”
Gerry McCormack, who is the vice-chairman of Hyde Rangers, and gave the euology at the funeral described Paddy as a “visionary”.
“Paddy pushed us on. When he became chairman and I was secretary, we developed our ground in the 1990s, and opened new facilities in the 2000s.”
Mary he described as a quiet, yet very devoted person.
She worked in the background. She never really sought the limelight. But she was always there in support pf Paddy. She was very devoted.
"They were a lovely couple, always together. Their families came first, and they were so committed to the church and the community of Our Lady of Lourdes, even though they lived in Farranshone,” Gerry added.
For one lifelong friend, Seamus Jackson, it is their company and advice he will miss the most.
“Paddy was always a good man to talk to and get advice on anything. When we were on the committee of the club, he was great to get direction from,” Seamus said.
In later years, Paddy and Maura moved out to the Ennis Road care facility.
But they remained active, enjoying gardening, and also looking after their dog Lucky.
Both animal lovers, in their death, they urged people to offer donations to Limerick Animal Welfare.