Samantha and Frankie marry after getting special permission due to her terminal cancer diagnosis

A Loughbrickland couple had their wedding dreams fulfilled yesterday after Stormont ministers gave them special permission to wed under lockdown due to her terminal cancer diagnosis.

Saturday, 23rd May 2020, 7:00 am
Updated Saturday, 23rd May 2020, 9:49 am
L-R Kevin Maginnis, Frankie Byrne, Samantha Gamble, Jessica Gamble, Stephen Gamble. Photo Pacemaker Press

Samantha Gamble and Frankie Byrne had hoped to get married at the end of May but their plans were thwarted due to the Coronavirus lockdown, which had put all weddings on hold.

Yesterday the couple married in the back garden of their home while the event was live streamed to family.

Her cousin lobbied politicians for a special allowance for the couple and the First and Deputy First Ministers, Arlene Foster and Michelle O’Neill, then agreed to allow marriage ceremonies in which a person is terminally ill.

When asked if she had a message for the politicians, she said: “Thank you, thank you, thank you, they’ll never know what it means to us. They do have hearts.”

The couple have been together for 12 years and always intended to marry but her cancer disrupted their plans.

They know she is seriously ill, but did not want information about her prognosis.

“We don’t want to know.” Samantha told the BBC. “I know the cancer has spread, it’s into my lungs and into my spine and neck.

“I just take every day as it comes. I don’t want them to say you’ve got such and such a time because I think that would just bring me down.

“Whereas, at the minute, I can just say I’m living each day as it comes and I’m thankful for breathing.”

Only six people were allowed to attend including the registrar. Samantha said her two children and a close friend of Frankie’s were also to be present.