Aging Matt Murphy, 83, facing an end-of-life inability to pay for the services of his friend and caregiver Michael O'Sullivan, 58, offered instead the house in which he lives as a gift, but was alarmed to hear of an approximately $67,000 inheritance tax bill that would turn the gift into a hardship instead of a blessing.
So the two, taking advantage of current Irish law, will marry, and O'Sullivan will get the house, and Murphy will know that his caregiver will be rewarded for unfailing and compassionate service, according to the Guardian.
— Emma McMenamy (@emmamcm) December 22, 2017
"I've known Matty for 30 years. We became very friendly after my second relationship broke up," stated O'Sullivan, a father of three, cited by the Irish Mirror.
"I have been bringing Matt out in my car to various parties and all that kind of thing," added the younger man, adding that Murphy "became friends with all my friends, they all loved him."
Murphy and O'Sullivan are old — and decidedly heterosexual — friends but the latter could not afford to pay the former a fair wage. "Eventually Matt said the only way he could pay me was to leave me the house," said O'Sullivan. "He said he would give me the house so I have somewhere to live when he goes."
But O'Sullivan knew a huge tax bill on the transfer would require him to sell the house, and noted that Murphy had been "chatting a friend down the country in Cashel, County Tipperary, and she jokingly said we should get married."
"One night he turned around and said it to me and I said I would marry him."
The younger man acknowledged that Ireland's LGBT community made the move possible.
"The equality gay and lesbian people did for this country," he said, "that they fought hard for, they were discriminated against for most of their lives, they got equality for themselves but also for everybody else," cited by The Guardian.