History made as Irish gay couple publicly wed

Ireland has seen its first public civil partnership, as Barry Dignam and Hugh Walsh tied the knot in Dublin.

Six such civil partnerships have already taken place in private this year in Ireland but Mr Dignam and Mr Walsh were the first to do so publicly.

The Gay and Lesbian Equality Network has described today's ceremony as a huge historic moment for the Lesbian and Gay Community in Ireland.

The Network's Chairman Kieran Rose said Irish society used to be one of the most repressive when it came to gay rights, but that this legislation along with other developments now made it one of the most progressive in terms of legal status.

At the end of the ceremony, an orchestral version of Abba’s Dancing Queen from the film Muriel’s Wedding was played – just to “gay it up” as Mr Dignam put it. The wedding party then headed over to Olivier’s Restaurant at the Schoolhouse Hotel, where they celebrated with friends and family over a meal prepared by Breton chef Olivier Quenet.

Mr Dignam said the wedding would make a “huge practical difference. Now if an accident happens and one of us has to go to hospital with the other, that other person’s views will be taken into account . . ."

We’re now each other’s next of kin,” Mr Walsh said. “We’re basically just two faces – we are interchangeable with the thousands of gay couples who live in this country and who love each other and who are going to do this,” he added.

Date: 06 April 2011


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