'We met in the wine section': Cork councillor on finding love and canvassing plans for the honeymoon 

“It’s been very moving that people that we wouldn’t personally know, constituents of mine, people in Cork, people that have texted me saying how proud they are that we were being an example to other couples out there." 
'We met in the wine section': Cork councillor on finding love and canvassing plans for the honeymoon 

Francisco Cuevas and Councillor Ken O'Flynn at their recent wedding in Seville, with chief chaperone Alissa O'Flynn and page boy Gonzalo Cuevas.

A recently married Cork city councillor has told The Echo how he found love in the off-licence of a supermarket.

Councillor Kenneth O’Flynn has spoken about his recent wedding in Spain, and how a chance encounter in a SuperValu drinks aisle changed his life.

“We met in the wine section, and Francisco thought I worked for the supermarket,” Cllr O’Flynn said. “And I suppose we got we got chatting because I lived in Spain for a while.

"We ended up going for coffee and the rest is history.

“We’ve been together nine years, and we decided to get married.”

Councillor Ken O'Flynn and Francisco Cuevas at their recent wedding in Seville, with page boy Gonzalo Cuevas and chief chaperone Alissa O'Flynn.
Councillor Ken O'Flynn and Francisco Cuevas at their recent wedding in Seville, with page boy Gonzalo Cuevas and chief chaperone Alissa O'Flynn.

Francisco Cuevas, who is Spanish, currently works as a reporting and business analyst with a company based in Cork, and he said he was immediately taken with Ken.

“I thought he worked there, but it was really good to talk with him and it was, of course, love at first sight.” The couple’s wedding plans had to be put on hold thanks to the small matter of a global pandemic, but they finally got to tie the knot last month.

“Our plan was to marry back in 2020,” Cllr O’Flynn said. “We had been on vacation with my family, and we were in the Caribbean, on the island of St. Martin’s, when we got engaged and this is all pre-Covid, of course, and caterers were booked, florists were booked, photographers were booked, all that sort of stuff.

“And then, of course, Covid hit us, and it put us back two years, so two attempts later, on the third attempt, we got it right, because we were able to travel and all our friends and family were able to travel.”

Some 350 people attended the wedding, which took place in Seville, with 150 Irish guests travelling, among them Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Deirdre Forde, who travelled in a personal capacity as a close friend of the happy couple, and Cork county manager Tim Lucey.

Francisco Cuevas and Councillor Ken O'Flynn at their recent wedding in Seville.
Francisco Cuevas and Councillor Ken O'Flynn at their recent wedding in Seville.

Well-known solicitor Gerard Kean was in attendance, as were businessman Gerry Carey and his wife Trisha, Fine Gael Senator Jerry Buttimer and Independent Senator Sharon Keogan, as well as members of the couple’s local GAA club and family and friends.

The wedding was a great success, the couple said, but the honeymoon will have to wait.

“We are planning the honeymoon for next year because I didn’t have any more holidays to be able to take, because I spent all my holidays planning the wedding,” Francisco said.

When asked where they intend to have their honeymoon, Ken pointed out the next local elections are happening in 2024 and jokingly said “the honeymoon will be spent in canvassing”.

It sounded like a case of “Welcome to the political life, Fran”, but he said he had known what was ahead of him.

“Oh I’m well used to it now, after three elections,” Francisco said with a laugh.

When asked if there is an age difference between them, Fran responded: “Sure I’m only a young fella” and a scandalised Ken replied: “There’s only 12 years between us”.

The couple say they have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support they have received online and in person, from friends and from strangers, all wishing them long life and happiness together.

Francisco Cuevas and Councillor Ken O'Flynn at their recent wedding in Seville.
Francisco Cuevas and Councillor Ken O'Flynn at their recent wedding in Seville.

“It’s been very moving that people that we wouldn’t personally know, constituents of mine, people in Cork, people that have texted me saying how proud they are that we were being an example to other couples out there, and people that have contacted us who have sons and daughters who are gay and in various relationships, and saying how they’re so delighted how we did it, in such a public way and such a respectful way of everybody’s views and entitlements, and that’s extremely touching,” Ken said.

Kenneth and Francisco are optimistic about their future together, and hopeful for Ireland as a better home for all.

“We’re an ever-changing country and we’re a more accepting country too, and a better country for it,” Ken said.

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