Couple part this world within hours after a lifetime together

Sue Doherty


Sue Doherty

Bridie and Tommy Sweeney recently passed away within hours of each other after 55 years of marriage.

Bridie and Tommy Sweeney recently passed away within hours of each other after 55 years of marriage.

The couple, who lived in Birmingham, both had strong links with Donegal.

Bridie (87) was a native of Cornaveagh, near Donegal town. Her parents, Manus Craig and Cassie Martin from Townawilly, had eight children - Maureen, Nan, Margaret, Sean, Dan, Kathleen, Bridie and Patrick.

Tommy (79) was born in Glasgow but his mother Frances Deeney was from Fanad. He was the eldest of eight children: his siblings were Janey, Mary, Dennis, Jim, Bryan, John and another brother named Bryan, who passed away at a young age.

Bridie and Tommy met in Glasgow in 1954 at St Mungo’s Dance Hall. For both of them, their shared Donegal heritage, love of family life and strong faith were central to their attraction and the firm foundation on which they built their life together.

They were married at St Peters in Partick, Glasgow in 1957 and went on to have five children - Margeret, Bryan (who died at birth), Thomas, Sharon and Patsy. The family moved to Birmingham in 1976.

They lived happily together until the progressive onset of ill health meant that, during the last year, they each moved to separate nursing homes. Tommy passed away on March 28. Just hours later, not knowing that her husband had died, Bridie also passed away.

The couple’s son, Thomas, said in his moving eulogy: “As in life since they met and spent their lives together, they left to be together for eternity in heaven at the same time.

“Being buried together today means neither had to suffer the loss of the other. The togetherness that characterised their life together was also part of their journey into heaven to be with Christ.

“The knowledge that they never felt the loss of a partner that had shared a long and very happy 55 years of wonderful family life and marriage together, provides comfort and solace for our family.”