Belfast Telegraph

Just married: Patrick and Anne-Marie Smyth

Patrick and Anne-Marie Smith
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Patrick and Anne-Marie Smith

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By Anne Madden

Young love was kindled in the remote north west corner of Donegal where two teenagers went to study Irish at a Gaeltacht summer school.

Anne-Marie Searle (24) and Patrick Smyth (23), both from Belfast, were at the Irish summer school in the village of Loch an Iuir (Loughanure), between Gweedore and Dungloe, but found there were lots of distractions from their studies, such as the school disco.

Patrick, who works in construction, described how they originally met as 14-year-olds.

“There are two versions of how we met, which I described in my speech at the wedding,” added Patrick. “Anne-Marie’s version is that she was sitting in the disco, I took her hand and lifted her up off the seat, sat down on her chair and kissed her.

“But the real version was that I was wrecked and needed a sit down. I thought who would be the easiest person to move and spotted Anne-Marie — she is quite petite.

“When I lifted her up she then jumped on my knee.”

They returned to Donegal to get married in Ballybofey on August 15. The wedding was in St Mary’s church in Sessiaghoneill near Ballybofey and afterwards there was a reception for 80 guests at Jackson’s Hotel.

The youngest guests at the wedding were the couple’s two children, Caoimhe (2) and one-year-old Caolan.

Thanks to a nudge from Anne-Marie, Patrick made a surprise announcementhat they’re expecting a third child.

“She was 10 weeks pregnant at the wedding, so we decided to tell our guests,” he said.

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