An elderly Irish couple have shared their heartbreak after being separated by the Irish health system.
Michael (90) and Kathleen Devereaux (85) have been married for over 63 years and had planned to move into a nursing home together after Michael's health deteriorated.
However, after applying through the Fair Deal scheme, the couple were told that Kathleen would not be offered a place as she was independent enough to live at home.
The pair have now been separated and Michael wept as he told his story to Joe Duffy on RTÉ's Liveline earlier today.
“We’ve been separated for the first time in our lives after 63 long years of marriage. I can't sleep at night even. I'm waking at three o'clock, maybe at four o'clock every morning, and what do I do? I pray first of all and then I cry. It's terrible."
The HSE responded earlier today to say that a representative would visit the family this week, adding that the scheme "aimed to support people in their own homes for as long as possible".