'This is something extraordinary'
Published 01/11/2010 | 05:00
Dublin couple Gráinne Healy and Trisha O'Connor have been together more than two decades and have a 28-year-old son, Conor.
After meeting separated Trisha and her then toddler through a study group, Gráinne reveals how Cupid struck.
"We'd be in each other's houses working until late," she recalls. "Suddenly, it was like 'Oh wow! Maybe we don't want to be apart tonight'. When it happened, I thought: 'This is something very extraordinary and significant.'"
Setting up home when Conor was five, they've since tackled motherhood together.
"The experience of parenting Conor with Trisha has been great for me," says Gráinne. "He is a gorgeous person. He's turned out to be a very thoughtful and reliable man and I'm so proud of him.
"Gráinne sees herself as Conor's parent and he thinks of her in the same way," agrees partner Trisha. "She has had an enormous input into his life -- she's completely committed to being his parent."
"He's still very connected to us. He lives nearby so calls in all the time."
Seeing his parents unable to tie the knot, Conor was happy to have his image plastered on buses and billboards for a civil marriage campaign, adds Gráinne.
"A lot of people looking at the poster will assume Conor is the gay one because he's a handsome young man, but that of course is just a stereotype.
"The fact is that it doesn't really matter who is gay in the poster -- what matters is that we are a family."