Northern Ireland news

Love Island finale to be marked with viewing parties across Ireland

Co Longford model Maura Higgins is coupled up with professional dancer, Curtis Pritchard
Marie Louise McConville

IT'S had millions of TV viewers captivated for the last two months and with the finale just days away, preparations are under way to mark the end of Love Island in style.

Viewing parties are being planned across Ireland to allow like-minded fans of the reality dating show to come together and watch who will win - and share the £50,000 prize.

Just a handful of couples remain in the villa in Majorca, each hoping they will triumph in the public vote.

The bookies favourite has been Manchester boxer Tommy Fury, who fell for the charms of social influencer Molly Mae Hague.

However, a number of other contestants have also proven popular - including two Irish islanders.

Maura Higgins, a 28-year-old model from Co Longford, has been a firm favourite with viewers thanks to her hilarious one-liners.

She was coupled up with professional dancer Curtis Pritchard who, while initially well loved by fans, fell from grace when he broke former contestant Amy Hart's heart.

Another Irish hopeful, Greg O'Shea, has won the hearts of Love Island fans despite entering the villa just two weeks ago.

The 24-year-old Limerick man coupled up with 21-year-old beauty therapist Amber Gill.

With just 48 hours until the show's conclusion on Monday, excitement has been building among fans, who have been making their own arrangements to celebrate the finale.

Cinemas in Dublin and Cork are staging special party screenings, while any number of Love Island viewing parties have also been organised by bars and hotels.

In Co Down, the Millbrook Lodge Hotel outside Ballynahinch is going all out to celebrate the final, even creating a range of themed cocktails.

General manager Gerty McCaugherty said it is "really excited to bring something different, fun and quirky to Ballynahinch".

"Our customers (and staff) can’t get enough of Love Island, so we decided who else better to watch the final with than your pals and fellow islanders,

"Our night will include themed drinks, such as the Tommy Fury Punch and much more. Looking forward to welcoming our guests to cheer on their favourite couple."

In Antrim town, the Top Of The Town Bar and Restaurant is also hosting a Love Island Finale Party.

A package offers fans the chance to have a meal before the last episode will be shown on an eight-foot screen.

Marketing manager Sara Larkhim said: "We actually did this last year and it sold out in a couple of hours so it felt natural to do it again. We sold out pretty quickly again this year. It was great craic and a great atmosphere. We think it is going to be the same again this year."

In east Belfast, The Poet on King's Road is also getting in the island spirit with a viewing party.

As well as showing the final on a big screen, the bar has designed speciality cocktails including the `Love Potion' and `Love Island'.

Owner Gary McCalmont said the idea for the party came from a member of staff who is a "super fan" of the show.

"We have special cocktails and we are encouraging people to dress for the occasion," he said.

"We have got a big screen and four 52-inch TVs as well and surround sound everywhere. It will just be a bit of fun."

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