Siblings 'Maura' and 'James' on their wedding day Their wedding day should have been a joyous occasion, where the happy couple announced their undying love for one another to the world. Friends and family should have packed into the local church and photographers should have taken beautiful pictures for their local paper.
The delighted bride and groom should have danced through confetti before being waved off by an elated congregation as they were chauffeured away in a luxury car. And then it should have been on to a hotel function room, where excited guests should have listened to amusing anecdotes from the best man on how the newlyweds met.
But things were very different for the brother and sister who wed last week. The brother and sister who knew that they were defying the law by joining together in matrimony. Of course, their wedding day had to be kept as a somewhat low-key affair. But so determined are they to spend the rest of their lives together that they sealed their union during an intimate civil marriage ceremony last week.
And in a further twist, the couple, who discovered they were siblings after they conceived their first child, are expecting another baby. But the pressures of the secret they have shared for years is forcing them to emigrate as they fear that if they remain living in Ireland it will only be a matter of time before the authorities become aware of their identities and prosecute them for being involved in an incestuous relationship.
In an exclusive interview with the Irish Mail on Sunday, the brother and sister speak openly about their wedding day and their future plans for their young family. And afterwards, Maura admitted that it was not the wedding day she had dreamed about ever since she was a little girl playing dress-up. Our world exclusive revealing the brother and sister's tale of forbidden love - which was followed up across the globe But nevertheless, the couple are totally convinced they did the right thing, and they hope that by marrying they will secure the happy-ever-after ending that they yearn for.
Looking stunning in her ivory wedding gown, a heavily pregnant Maura told the MoS: I think she finds it hard seeing us together. It was more intense, more passionate. I wanted to get married because I wanted to push things along. I was happy with him but I wanted more stability. I wanted to make a commitment. And after they first spoke to the MoS last May, their story made headlines all around the world. How they met is a solitary tale of the devastating impact of lies.
They grew up in separate towns about miles apart and they met by chance during a night out socialising in a town neither of them is from.
In fact, their meeting differed little to how another young man and woman met back in the s. The carefree young woman, who was 19 years old at the time, was not socialising in her home town. They dated for the next four to five weeks but the romance soon fizzled out and they went their separate ways. Both of them happen to be out socialising with friends in a town which neither of them is from.
They are instantly smitten. So strong is their incredible mutual attraction for one another, that a week later both of them feel they have known each other for a lifetime. It was a normal, 21st century love affair: He had left the family home when James was about 10 or 11 years old, and so strained was their relationship that the young boy was relieved when his father walked out the door.
However, last Christmas James decided to put aside the past hurts and visit his mother. And it was while chatting with her son about his girlfriend that Carmel began to piece together the shocking information which would have devastating implications.
DNA tests confirmed the truth and further disturbing information then emerged. During her brief relationship with Tom, Carmel became pregnant and when the couple went their separate ways, she did not tell her boyfriend that she was expecting his child.
However, when James was about five years old, his real father Tom found out that he had fathered a son and he tried to get in contact with Carmel. Nevertheless, the judge hearing the case decided that it would be too upsetting and disruptive for James to know his real father and Tom was denied access to his son.
I knew no one was going to bust in the door but I thought someone just might. It was hard for our father and he had to leave the room at one stage, but he came back in again. Even if they did they would find it hard to stop us. We will be leaving soon, and we decided to get married because we are expecting our second child. I was shocked when I found out that I was expecting.
James and Maura met eight years ago and since then they have been involved in a loving, stable relationship, considering themselves destined to be together. From the start they felt they were soul mates, so both of them were shocked to the core when they found out they were brother and sister.
And the married couple readily admit that if they did not already have a child together with another on the way, they would have gone their separate ways by now. Recent months have been difficult, but they are becoming more comfortable apparently with the fact that they were fathered by the same man with different women.
But we dealt with it. I could never look upon her as my sister. Our two witnesses know our story but we know that they will never tell anyone that we are really brother and sister. They have already have made contact with potential employers in their new homeland and are confident that they will prosper. There are plenty of opportunities for us and our father has said that he will come and visit us.
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