Northern Ireland news

Terminally ill Co Down woman Samantha Gamble gets married

Samantha Gamble, who has terminal cancer, and Frankie Byrne got married yesterday
Connla Young

A terminally ill Co Down woman got married yesterday after Stormont ministers eased lockdown restrictions.

Samantha Gamble and Frankie Byrne, who have been together for 12 years, had intended to get married at the end of May but due to coronavirus restrictions were forced to cancel the big day.

However, as Samantha continued to be treated for cancer, politicians were lobbied by her family.

Last week the couple received good news when Stormont ministers agreed to allow weddings in a case where a person is terminally ill.

Under the new rules six people, including the bride, groom and registrar can attend.

A delighted Samantha said last week that her two children and a close friend of Frankie's would be present, while a video-link allow other members of the family look on.

First Minister Arlene Foster and Deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill offered the couple their best wishes ahead of their nuptials at their home yesterday.

Speaking ahead of the wedding Samantha said it would mean "everything".

"Just to be able to say we did it,” she said.

“Through all this Frankie has stood beside me and been my rock and done everything for me."

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