A County Down woman whose circumstances persuaded Northern Ireland’s devolved government to allow her wedding to go ahead during lockdown has passed away.
Samantha Gamble, who had a terminal cancer diagnosis, and Frankie Byrne had been together for 12 years and had planned to marry at the end of May.
But coronavirus restrictions meant that weddings were not allowed.
First Minister Arlene Foster said that she did not think anyone “could have failed to be touched by the couple”.
Mrs Byrne, from Loughbrickland, died on Sunday in the Southern Area Hospice.
Stormont’s first and deputy first ministers, Mrs Foster and Michelle O’Neill, said they had agreed to allow marriage ceremonies in which a person is terminally ill as part of the first steps in lifting lockdown measures in Northern Ireland after the couple’s family lobbied politicians.
Thanking them for their decision, Mrs Byrne said they would “never know what it means to us”.
Only six people, including the bride, groom and registrar, could attend the garden ceremony with wider family joining via video link.