The Irish state broadcaster RTE has reported on how a festive tweets promotion by AOL turned into a surprise civil partnership proposal for a lesbian couple.

Etain Kidney proposed to her girlfriend Michelle Walls by Tweeting “Michelle, will you marry me?” onto a wall of the Boland’s Mill building at Grand Canal Dock in Dublin.

Of course, the pair won’t actually be able to marry in Ireland as the country only offers same-sex couples civil partnerships. Last month , the Irish deputy prime minister (Tánaiste) Eamon Gilmore said he would like to see a referendum on same-sex marriage “as soon as possible”.

Mr Gilmore said his own view was that the “time has come” for Ireland to introduce marriage rights for gay couples. “I don’t believe we should postpone what is a human right.”

Ms Kidney was helped to propose by AOL who have been beaming festive tweets onto the buildings as part of a pre-Christmas promotion.

She told Ireland’s GCN,”I just wanted to do something special for her. I got in touch with AOL and Thinkhouse who made it happen.

“It was great to have all our friends there. I got to make a big deal of Michelle and it’s so beautiful down on the dock – couldn’t ask for much more!”