TV presenter 'weds' partner of 18 years


THE BRIDESMAIDS wore white, while the grooms arrived together in a white Bentley.

They walked down the aisle together at the Unitarian Church in St Stephen’s Green, Dublin, exchanged rings and vows and then walked back up the aisle a half-hour later to a crescendo of clapping and a blizzard of flashbulbs when they kissed on the steps of the church.

The civil partnership ceremony of TV3 presenter Alan Hughes and songwriter Karl Broderick had all the trappings of a wedding, even if the present legislation does not recognise it as a marriage.

It was, as Broderick put it, “the most normal thing in the world” for a couple who have been together for 18 years. They chose the date to coincide with the 18th anniversary of their first meeting. Theirs was the highest-profile civil partnership ceremony since the legislation allowing such unions came into force in January.

Yesterday’s civil partnership was conducted by Unitarian minister Keith Troughton. It was attended by close to 75 guests, mostly friends and family, and included many of Hughes’s colleagues from TV3.

The bridesmaids were Hughes’s sister Doreen Freeman and Broderick’s sister Ann Broderick and her two-and-a-half year old daughter Mia Cunningham, who presented the rings.

Music was provided by harpist Cormac De Barra, the Hallelujah Gospel Choir and singer Brian Kennedy.

The couple timed their entrance perfectly just before a heavy downpour. By the time they emerged from the church the sun had come out again.

Hughes confessed to “losing it” when Kennedy sang his partner’s favourite song, Somewhere, from West Side Story. “I was roaring and crying. I feel ecstatic. I’m really emotional. Brian Kennedy was just ‘wow’,” he said afterwards.

Kennedy described yesterday’s service as “another step forward in the marriage equality thing” even if was a civil partnership ceremony.

“Of course it is a wedding, we’re calling it that. This is two men who are committed to each other and madly in love with each other making that kind of commitment legally.”

The Mansion House reception attracted no less than three former Eurovision entrants: brother and sister Donna and Joe McCaul reprised Love?,written by Broderick and which was Ireland’s 2005 entry; Brian Kennedy, who represented Ireland in 2006, and Niamh Kavanagh, a former winner.

Former X-Factorfinalist Mary Byrne also serenaded the happy couple. Another 150 guests attended last night’s reception. The couple will honeymoon in the United States.