FOR Greg Canty and Deirdre Waldron, who are together 21 years, it all began with a tipsy evening followed by a long chat in an all-night café, after being brought together through a mutual friend.
Greg did not expect to meet a romantic interest on the night in question.
“I was heading into town to meet a friend for a bite to eat and a few drinks before showing my face at the opening of a new venue and then heading to a gig.”
But Greg’s plans changed entirely when he arrived at the opening of ‘Midnight Court’ a new nightclub “for older, more mature folk,” as Greg described it.
“I spotted Robert, my buddy who I used to work with out of the corner of my eye and eventually we ended up chatting and as usual he was in the company of two very pretty women.
“My intention was a quick chat and off to the gig but I must admit the very lively attractive woman that had been with him was on the dancefloor, throwing all sorts of shapes and having loads of fun,and did catch my attention.
“She was dancing with freedom, smiling, laughing and enjoying the music - I was from a different world and in a very different place.”
Deirdre said she first met Greg “through the blurry eyes of six Smirnoff Ices.”
“I was really nervous. It was my first night out on my own, coming out of a long relationship. My friends were late so [I had] only the Smirnoff Ice for company before they arrived!”
Spotting Greg, Deirdre asked her friend Robert “Who is he?” Having made his appearance at the venue, Greg was heading for the door.
“While I was about to make my “I’m out of here” move, she was in front of me and without a word led me to the dancefloor.”
Deirdre who was “still emotionally licking deep wounds from a previous relationship” said she was shocked to see Greg had “such sad eyes” and made it her mission to cheer him up.
“I took a deep breath, asked him to dance and before we got to the dancefloor I pulled him close and kissed him.”
Greg said it was all very smooth.
“Before I knew it, not only was I dancing but this beautiful creature from another planet was kissing me. Where were you all my life?!!”
As the nightclub started to close the pair felt their night was not yet over and they popped into a nearby coffee shop for a cup of joe. Greg said the rest of the world disappeared.
“While I was waiting for my mind to stop spinning, we made our way to a little coffee shop around the corner on Tuckey Street and chatted until the early hours of the morning about all sorts, and for those few hours the rest of the world disappeared and it felt like it was just the two of us.”
For Deirdre, meeting Greg gave her a new lease of life.
“The next day he rang me at 12 noon and we chatted while I drove back home to Tralee. I can still picture myself in the car, having arrived at my little apartment, still on the phone with him and feeling happier than I had in years and years.”
21 years later, after meeting in their mid 30s, the pair are still madly in love.
“He still is that very same person, gentle, loving, caring, mad about me and I am so lucky,” Deirdre said.
The pair now work together as managing partners of the Cork Communications company Fuzion.
“We have a really lovely life in Cork, the tough times are made so much easier with him by my side and the good times double the fun,” Deirdre summarised.
Offering advice on finding the one, Greg said: “Don’t try too hard, allow fate to play its cards, but be open to doing new things and going to new places.”