CORK Senator Jerry Buttimer is to marry his long-term partner Conchobar Ó Laoghaire in a ceremony taking place in Cork just after Christmas.
The current political crisis and the threat of a snap election had cast a shadow over preparations. However, this upheaval is looking less likely and the ceremony is to proceed as planned at St St Peter's on North Main Street on Friday, December 29.
Despite the political turmoil, Mr Buttimer said his focus was firmly on the very special day.
“For me, it’s about my relationship of over ten years and about us making our commitment to each other. It is the high point of my life.," he told the Evening Echo.
“We want to ensure the ceremony is about us. We will have friends from politics, GAA and our community. It will be a celebration of all the different tapestries of our life.” Mr Buttimer was Fine Gael's first openly gay TD when he came out publicly in 2012. He was a high-profile marriage equality campaigner and played an important role in Ireland’s marriage equality vote.
He said it was a privilege to marry in his partner in Cork. “It’s great that you can get married in this country. That was an act of generosity from the public.” Mr Buttimer also said his wedding encapsulated the common dream of many.
“It is about achieving what we all want, to fall in love, settle down and get married."
The senator said he was very much looking forward to the event which will be held at St Peter’s Church on North Main Street with the reception at the Rochestown Park Hotel.
"I am looking forward to it. We picked December because it is traditionally quiet for us, there are no major sporting events and no major political events.
“That looked dodgy for a while," he joked, referring to the threat of a possible snap general election.
“We didn’t plan for it," he said. "But if it happened, we would have balanced both."
Mr Buttimer was tight-lipped about details of the occasion but did say that the Irish language and traditional Irish music played a part and the wedding invitation was a GAA ticket.
He declined to say who would be invited but it is expected that some of Fine Gael's top party members may attend including the Taoiseach.
For his honeymoon, Mr Buttimer and his new husband will be jetting off for a romantic stay in Paris.
“We will only go for four to five days, but I am looking forward to it," he said.