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Two Old Boys Just Got Married To Avoid Inheritance Tax

Two Old Boys Just Got Married To Avoid Inheritance Tax

Two elderly Irish gents have taken a road less travelled to get around inheritance tax laws: they've married each other, as a new RTE documentary shows.

Michael O'Sullivan, 60, and Matt Murphy, 80, had been friends for thirty years and Matt wanted to leave his Dublin house to Michael in his will.

However, inheritance tax laws in Ireland would have seen Michael cop a €50,000 bill had his mate simply passed the estate on, so the pair hatched a plan to become husband and husband to skirt around it.


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Now, RTE have produced a documentary, Let The Rest Of The World Go By, about their unusual arrangement. Matt died after a short illness early last year, but Michael is still about and paying tribute to his friend/husband.

"He was such a great character and he comes across as himself and he would have loved it. He loved the attention," said O'Sullivan.

"It was very emotional to watch it back. It's a lovely piece of work that tells the story so well. What's nice about it is that it airs during the same week as Matt's anniversary which is on the 14th."

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"At the time of the wedding we didn't really even invite people. I found a set of rings in Matt's jewellery box that worked as wedding rings. It was so high profile at the time that I'm sure it inspired others to do the same as us. We were like the odd couple."

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"At the time it was a marriage of convenience, you know. We didn't know it was going to be a big international story. It was an amazing journey. I needed somewhere to live and Matt needed someone to take care of him.

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Matt had been a butler for decades, but when he retired, had nobody to care for him. Michael, his long-time friend, stepped in.

"Matt spent his whole life looking after other people, fussing over them, people relied on him. But who was going to look after Matt?," said Michael.

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"Matt came up with the idea and said, 'I will give you the house and you look after me and I will give you the house as payment'."

Matt slowed down towards the end, but Michael stood by him.

"I noticed his mind slipping a bit. He would come out with some strange things. I would just go along with it. I didn't say anything, it was harmless.

"The first year was great. We went in the car, we went walking a lot, to the cafe, we just went everywhere together. It was so good."

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Now, the documentary is here to shed light on their touching, if slightly, unusual relationship. It is now streaming on the RTE Player.



Topics: Ireland

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Mike Wood

Mike Meehall Wood is a freelance journalist and translator. He writes for LADbible, VICE and countless sports publications, focusing on rugby league, football and boxing. He is a graduate of Leeds University and maintains a fizzy pop obsession. Contact Mike at [email protected]