One of Northern Ireland's best known actresses has revealed she has found love again following the tragic death of her partner last year.
Writing in the Belfast Telegraph today, popular comedienne Nuala McKeever said she is now in a relationship with another woman.
The talented entertainer, known for being a champion of gay rights and marriage equality, wrote that she has found happiness again – and this time it just happens to be with someone of the same sex.
Last April, Nuala spoke of the heartache she was experiencing following the untimely death of her 59-year-old long-term partner, Mike Moloney.
Mike, a well-known Belfast circus performer and Prison Arts Foundation director, died suddenly in an accident. The popular figure was remembered at his funeral as an inspirational man who had touched the lives of so many people.
"He was a very inspirational man and gave people so much joy," Nuala told this newspaper at the time.
"He gave people the chance to shine when they needed it most and made them believe in themselves."
Life over the last year has been an emotional rollercoaster for Nuala, who has shared many of these ups and downs with Belfast Telegraph readers.
But writing in her weekly column today, she shares her new relationship happiness and criticises the recent Stormont vote against marriage equality for LGBT couples.
Last week, for the third time in 18 months, the majority of our MLAs voted against extending marriage rights to non-heterosexual couples, that would bring us in line with the rest of the UK.
Nuala describes this as "just one more depressing example of how out of step we are here" and then goes on to share the good news that she has found love again.
Further Reading ...
Her "declaration of happiness" says: "To whom it may concern or delight, I have just recently started a relationship with a woman.
"I know there are many serious issues going on in the world and the affairs of one or two individuals in a town this size don't amount to a hill of borrowed beans, but it seems important to me to make some declaration out loud.
"People, readers, strangers, have been very supportive to me in my pain this past year.
"Now you may be happy that I have found love with another person again.
"And that's about the size of it," she adds.
Nuala McKeever is an actress, comedienne and Belfast Telegraph columnist. She first came to public attention in the award-winning BBC television comedy, Give My Head Peace, followed by her own TV show, McKeever, on UTV. A writer and stage actress in productions, Nuala is also a regular contributor to TV and radio programmes, commenting on everything from politics to patchwork quilting.