How I met my partner: Stars finally aligned for a very special couple

Siobhán, who married Barry in 2014, said she knew Barry for years, but Barry seems to think she knew ‘of’ him.
How I met my partner: Stars finally aligned for a very special couple

The happy couple take in the delights of Long Island, West Cork.

An unrequited interest Cork woman Siobhan Cronin had became the long-lasting love we all dream of when Barry McMahon from Wicklow finally noticed her in a Dublin nightclub. Siobhán, who married Barry in 2014, said she knew Barry for years, but Barry seems to think she knew ‘of’ him.

“I knew Barry for years before we got together. I feel like I stalked him for about ten years but it turns out, in those years, he never even noticed me. We had a mutual friend, who back then worked for MCD and who regularly invited me to gigs with him. Barry was his best friend from school in Blessington. I was forever asking the friend ‘Is Barry coming out tonight?’”

Siobhán recalls meeting Barry again and again when the timing was off, but thankfully the stars aligned one fateful night.

“For many years we were both in relationships but there was something about him that used to make my heart flutter every time I saw him, even if he didn’t reciprocate. Then one night, when we were both single, we met at a birthday party in the Viper Room nightclub on Aston Quay in Dublin.

Siobhan and Barry on a trip to beautiful Fastnet last summer.	Pictures: Siobhan Cronin and Barry McMahon
Siobhan and Barry on a trip to beautiful Fastnet last summer. Pictures: Siobhan Cronin and Barry McMahon

“We finally kissed that night but within minutes of our first ever kiss, he was called away. He was the designated driver and had been asked to bring the birthday girl home. I was so disappointed and it was nearly another year before I met him again.”

For Barry the love affair was not the slow burner that Siobhán remembers, more of a whirlwind romance.

“I met Siobhán in the Viper Room nightclub in Dublin. Siobhán had a VIP key to the club and it was very handy for skipping the massive queues outside the door. 

"I think I really wooed her by bringing her to a GAA match in Clones in Monaghan a year later. I pulled out all the stops that day by stopping in a petrol station for lunch and treating her to a Mars bar and a tea.”

While it would appear Siobhán was the ‘runner’ in the relationship, the pair are only together thanks to some long overdue effort on the part of Barry. Siobhan said they next met again, a year later, in another club in Dublin.

Siobhan and Barry enjoying themselves on a trip to Skibbereen.
Siobhan and Barry enjoying themselves on a trip to Skibbereen.

“We were out again with our mutual friend, who was trying to set me up with another one of the gang. I was just out of a very short but very intense relationship and I wasn’t really in much form for another one. I ended up leaving early and getting a taxi home. 

"As luck would have it, I had caught Barry’s eye that night for some reason. Soon after I got home, he rang me, wondering where I had gone. He had got my number from his buddy, after begging him for it, apparently.

“We talked for a while but I told him to ring me back a few days later as I was still mending a broken heart. He did, and I decided a night out would be a good distraction. He brought me for a drink in a pub in Templeogue called The Morgue. Our first real date was a Donegal v Fermanagh match in a wet and windy Clones. Our first ‘meal’ was a Mars bar and a cup of coffee on the way to that match. I guess you could call him a born romantic.”

Born messers Siobhan Cronin and Barry McMahon always laugh a lot.
Born messers Siobhan Cronin and Barry McMahon always laugh a lot.

Siobhán said they dated on and off for ten years before settling down and it took a daring gamble on Siobhán’s part to seal the deal.

“My friends told me I would never leave Wicklow but when Siobhán moved home to Cork I suppose I realised how much I missed her. I packed in the job I had been in since before college and followed her down.”

Married eight years, Barry said the pair always have a lot of fun together and that’s the secret to their success.

“Though we haven’t a huge amount in common, we have always laughed a lot. She follows Clare and Cork in GAA and I follow Wicklow — and Leeds United. Mixed fortunes, you could say. We both like dark nights and cold weather.

West Cork reminds me a lot of parts of West Wicklow, just with even stranger accents. I couldn’t understand a word anyone said to me for the first few years I was here and I would have to ask her to translate any time a local person left a message on my phone. But I kind of understand Cork people now. Sometimes.”

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