Derry couple celebrate 66th wedding anniversary raising funds for Trócaire

Hilda (88) and Matt (94) McColgan, from Derry, celebrated their 66th wedding anniversary recently by raising £1,050 for Trócaire.

The couple went on their first date in 1948, after growing up in neighbouring streets and they haven’t looked back since. They were married in St. Eugene’s Cathedral and their life together has seen them live in places including Hong Kong and Germany, but they returned to their native Derry many years ago.

Hilda shared the secret to their long and happy marriage. “You need to keep communicating all the time about everything, even things you don’t agree on, and never keep secrets from each other,” She said. Matt agrees and says, thankfully, they agree on most things. The couple feel it has been important for them to try to do something to help others over their life together.

“We have always been lucky in that we had enough for ourselves and so we felt we wanted to share what we had. My mother used to say that if God hadn’t given it to us then we couldn’t give it to someone else,” Hilda said. “We believe passionately in the work that Trócaire does and know that any money donated to Trócaire will be used to best effect to help those that need it most. This is so important in a world that is so ill-divided.”

Hilda and Matt McColgan celebrated their 66th wedding anniversary in the Bishop's Gate Hotel, raisiing £1,050 for Trócaire.

When Hilda and Matt celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary in 2016, they asked for donations for Trócaire in lieu of gifts. They continued this tradition until Covid put a stop to their fundraising lunches. This year, the couple were delighted to be able to celebrate their anniversary in the Bishop’s Gate Hotel and raised £1,050 this year for Trócaire.

Hilda and Matt said they were particularly moved by what is happening in Somalia at the moment, where millions of people are facing starvation in the face of the worst drought in 40 years, and they knew Trócaire would be able to put their money to good use there.

Siobhan Hanley, Trócaire’s Head of Region for the north said the organisation was humbled by the generosity of Hilda and Matt.

“We are incredibly lucky to have such amazing supporters who always go the extra mile to ensure our work in 20 of the world’s poorest countries can continue,” she said. “The UN has said that 22 million people are now at risk of starvation in East and the Horn of Africa. Trócaire provides the only health services in the Gedo Region of Somalia, an area larger than the island of Ireland, and the need there is only set to become greater. With the support of Hilda and Matt and others like them we will continue to be there to support the people of Somalia and the wider region in this crisis.”

Hilda and Matt McColgan getting married in St. Eugene's Cathedral

To find out more about Trócaire’s work visit