Northern Ireland

Coronavirus: Terminally-ill bride has her big day

samantha gamble and frankie byrne Image copyright PAcemaker
Image caption Samantha and Frankie tied the knot at their home in Loughbrickland, County Down on Friday

A couple whose circumstances persuaded Northern Ireland's devolved government to allow their wedding to go ahead during lockdown have tied the knot.

Samantha Gamble, who has a terminal cancer diagnosis, and Frankie Byrne had intended to get married at the end of May.

But coronavirus restrictions meant that weddings were not allowed.

The couple, who have been together for 12 years, married at their County Down home on Friday.

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Media captionTerminally-ill bride thanks politicians ahead of wedding

Last week, Stormont's First and Deputy First Ministers, Arlene Foster and Michelle O'Neill, said they had agreed to allow marriage ceremonies in which a person is terminally ill as part of the first steps in lifting lockdown measures after Samantha's family lobbied politicians.

Image copyright PAcemaker
Image caption Samantha said her wedding means "everything"

Earlier this week Samantha said her wedding would mean "everything".

She told politicians they would "never know what it means to us".

"Just to be able to say we did it. Through all this Frankie has stood beside me and been my rock and done everything for me," Samantha added.

Only six people, including the bride, groom and registrar could attend Friday's ceremony with wider family joining via video link.

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