An Irish couple celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in heartbreaking circumstances due to COVID-19 social distancing guidelines.

Denis and Ann McCarthy were forced to improvise to celebrate their golden anniversary on March 31, resulting in this heartwarming and tearjerking photograph. 

Ann McCarthy is a resident at Fairfield Nursing Home in Cork and the home is not taking any visitors in order to keep both residents and staff safe from COVID-19. 

While this is a necessary and unavoidable measure, it threatened to ruin the most significant milestone of the couple's marriage. 

Denis McCarthy had to think outside the box to see his wife on their big day and simultaneously comply with social distancing guidelines. 

The couple celebrated their anniversary on either side of Ann's bedroom window and exchanged a loving glance as Ann was presented with a cake by the nursing home staff. 

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Denis McCarthy also serenaded his wife with a rendition of Van Morrison's "Brown Eyed Girl" as the staff looked on. 

The staff at Fairfield Nursing Home were overcome with emotion at the sight of the married couple separated on their big day. 

They said in a Facebook post that the COVID-19 crisis was a hard time for everyone but that this was especially upsetting. 

"Ann & Denis celebrated their 50th Golden Wedding Anniversary, and all they could do was look at each other through a window! Such hard times for all involved. This has really pulled all our heartstrings," the staff said on Facebook. 

Annette McCarthy, the couple's daughter, explained the emotional celebration on the Neil Prendeville Show. 

"There's been a lockdown for the last few weeks, so dad hasn't been able to see mom. It's been very hard for both of them, so we got on to the nursing home and Niamh Conlon, the chef in there, produced this most amazing cake. 

"Dad went around to the side window to mom. Obviously there was no social interaction and the window had to stay closed, but mom hadn't been expecting it because they haven't seen each other in a few weeks. It was a very, very emotional occasion." 

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