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First Dates Ireland lesbian couple gets engaged in beautiful proposal

Josh Jackman February 25, 2019
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Shannon Whelan proposed to her lesbian partner Ciara Smyth on February 15, 2019

Shannon Whelan got down on one knee at her 21st birthday to propose to Ciara Smyth (RTE2/twitter)

A lesbian couple who met on the Irish edition of First Dates is now engaged.

Shannon Whelan proposed to Ciara Smyth on February 15, after the pair met during an episode of the show in 2017.

A clip of Whelan getting down on one knee at her own 21st birthday party, posted by Irish TV channel RTÉ, makes for joyous viewing.

In the video, Whelan is up on stage talking to the crowd, when she reveals that she had popped a different question to Smyth’s mother, Pat.

“I asked Pat there the other night, I was on the phone to her—Ciara doesn’t know this, but I was saying to her, over Christmas I was talking to them and I was asking them for their permission.”

After screams from some in the audience, the Dubliner walks down off the stage, bends down and takes her partner’s hand.

Lesbian couple Shannon Whelan and Ciara Smyth kiss on First Dates
First Dates Ireland’s first lesbian couple to get engaged share a kiss (RTE)

Smyth, a 22-year-old farmer from County Monaghan in the north of the country, agreed straight away.

The newly engaged lesbian couple then kissed as guests clapped and cheered, before dancing to Mark McCabe and Shelley Bukspan’s hit song “Maniac 2000.”

Lesbian First Dates couple say they were meant to be together

Speaking to The Irish Independent from their new home in London, Whelan described her relationship with Smyth.

“Even though we just met a year and a half ago, it’s honestly like we’ve known each other our whole lives,” she said.

“While I was waiting for Ciara on First Dates, I had a few sips of a very strong cocktail just to calm the nerves.

“I was looking in the reflection of the glass in front of me when she walked in and as soon as I turned around, she bought me a Baby Guinness. I think I fell in love with her there and then.”

She explained that after filming the episode, Smyth went back to live on her farm in Monaghan, but “we stayed in contact with one another via Snapchat.

“Then very soon after things got serious and we thankfully became inseparable.”

“My jaw literally hit the floor, it came to me as a complete surprise.”

— Ciara Smyth, of First Dates Ireland’s first lesbian engaged couple

She then told the story of how she asked Smyth’s mother if she could marry her daughter.

“We were at a big family reunion in Monaghan, which was a really great chance to bond with her parents,” she recalled.

“I asked her mam if she would be okay if I married Ciara and if I could use her engagement ring to propose. She was so nice and was more than happy to let me use her ring.

“Even though I was very nervous at the time, it just felt like the right thing to do.”

Smyth said she didn’t see the proposal coming.

“My jaw literally hit the floor, it came to me as a complete surprise,” she said. “I got so nervous, all I could really say was: ‘I suppose I will.’

“But I know I’ve made the right decision and I can’t wait to spend my future with the girl I love.”

Related topics: Dublin, entertainment, Europe, Europe, first dates, Ireland, lesbian, proposal, republic of ireland, same-sex couple, Television

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