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Dublin: 10 °C Wednesday 23 October, 2019
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Wayne and DJ will be one of Ireland's first same-sex couples to get married later today

Today is the first day same-sex couple can get married around the country.

IT HAS BEEN a long time coming, but today Ireland will see its first same-sex marriages.

A full 179 days after the result of May’s marriage referendum was announced, David James (DJ) O’Hanlon and Wayne Gough will make their wedding vows in front of a small group of friends and family at Harvey’s Point hotel in Co Donegal.

gay marriage - 2 Source: Stephen Mac Photography

Today is the first day that same-sex couples around Ireland are able to get married, after the commencement order on the Marriage Act 2015 took action yesterday.

From yesterday, same-sex couples were able to register their intention to get married and today is the first day that these ceremonies will be going ahead.

Wayne and DJ have been together for the past nine years, since a friend of DJ’s introduced them on a night out.

“We’re getting nervous, but I suppose that’s to be expected,” Wayne told TheJournal.ie yesterday evening.

While that’s understandable, the couple have the advantage of having had a practice run when they had their civil partnership in September.

“We went ahead with the civil partnership when the Marriage Bill was being enacted,” he said.

Because we’d sent the invites out to everybody. Then we spoke to the registrar about what to do after it was enacted to become married. We wanted it to be a full marriage, not just a civil partnership.

‘A magical place’ 

For the pair, having their wedding in Donegal is of particular significance.

“Donegal for us has always been a magical place,” says Wayne.

gay marriage - 1 Wayne and DJ at their ceremony in September Source: Stephen Mac Photograph

A number of years ago the pair were back at Harvey’s Point with friends who were visiting from America when they made a commitment to each other. 

We both said on that if we were ever going to get married, this is where we would get married.

It was two years later, on a walk to the end of the pier, that Wayne proposed to DJ.

Representing the country 

While today is bound to be a very personal occasion, it’s historical significance hasn’t been overlooked.

Part of their wedding in September and something that they’ll be doing again is a presentation of a green, white and orange tricolour and rainbow flag – something symbolic of the support the couple have had from the Irish people and the LGBT community.

“I think for us tomorrow we’ll be lighting the beacon of hope for a lot of lesbian and gay people around the world,” says Wayne.

Maybe that opportunity hasn’t knocked on their door yet and it is an honour for us to be representing the Irish people and to be sending out that positive message.

Read: Same-sex couples can get married in Ireland from today

Also: ‘The Irish people blazed a trail’: Final step taken to allow same-sex marriage in Ireland

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