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08th Oct 2017

This stunning snap of an elderly couple holding hands in UCD made our day

We can't.

UCD: a place of learning for some 33,000 students.

The largest university in Ireland, it’s known for its outstanding facilities, sprawling campus, and excellence in sports.

More than 150 years old, it is ranked among the top 100 universities in Europe. Alumni include James Joyce, Catherine Day, Brian O’Driscoll, Maeve Binchy, Flann O’Brien, Roddy Doyle, Mary Lavin, Brendan Gleeson, Amy Huberman, Neil Jordan, and Patrick Pearse.

However, one recent photograph has captured another side of Belfield. Taken by Francesca M and posted on her Instagram page, SunnyD4y, the photo was taken outside the John Henry Newman Building – aka, the Arts Block.

A post shared by Francesca M. (@sunnyd4y) on

She captioned it: “Those lessons you cannot find into books,” and certainly it represents a seriously heart-warming moment.

An elderly couple – a man and a woman walking with cane – make their way towards the Arts Block steps.

Both are dressed smartly and are holding hands as they stroll.

A commentator on Francesca’s page identified the individuals as the “poet Maurice Harmon and his wife Maura”. Indeed, it was subsequently reported that the pair were arriving at an event to mark Maurice’s inclusion in the James Joyce Library archives.

Mr Harmon is a Dubliner and is now 87. An emeritus professor of Anglo-Irish Literature at UCD, he is a distinguished critic, biographer, editor, and literary historian, as well as a respected poet.

His poetry collections include The Doll With Two Backs and The Mischievous Boy.