'We're delighted to marry at last... but it's too late for my dad to be there'
A Cork couple who fell in love at first sight will marry tomorrow - but admitted it will be a bittersweet day for both.
Dolores Murphy and Mabel Stoop-Murphy will become one of the first same-sex couples in Ireland to wed under the new Marriage Act 2015.
For Dolores, it will finally give her legal rights to the two-year-old boy she is raising with Mabel.
However, their wedding day in Cork Registry Office will be tinged with sadness.
"It will be bittersweet because there will really be just the two of us and our two witnesses," Dolores explained. "We have no family left."
Dolores and Mabel entered a civil partnership and that was celebrated akin to a wedding, with Dolores's father, Con 'Sylvie' Murphy, proudly walking both women down the aisle at the time.
He died in 2013.
"My dad knew Mabel for more than 10 years and he adored her. We're both so sad that he won't be here to share this special day with us."
In a special gesture, Sylvie gave Dolores the wedding ring her mother, Eileen, wore on her wedding day - and Dolores will now wear it while exchanging vows with Mabel.
"My mother died about 30 years ago, so it will be very special for me to be able to wear her ring on my wedding day."
Typical of so many same-sex couples in Ireland, Dolores and Mabel did everything possible in order to have their relationship formally recognised.
They first exchanged solemn vows in a special ceremony and then entered a civil partnership when that became possible in Ireland from April 2011.
The couple will now transfer their partnership into a full marriage.
"It is wonderful to finally feel that we are being treated exactly the same as every other Irish couple," said Dolores.