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I feared public backlash over gay wedding, reveals Alan

TV3 star Alan Hughes has revealed he feared a homophobic backlash when he announced his nuptials to Karl Broderick.

But the Ireland AM presenter said the couple were bowled over by the support they received from members of the Irish public, who credited them with blazing a trail for same-sex couples.

"It was amazing. The positive feedback was absolutely overwhelming. I thought there might be a bit of a backlash, a bit of homophobia, but it never happened. We've been getting cards from viewers of Ireland AM, even on our wedding day, saying they didn't want the day to pass without marking it," he told VIP magazine.

"The year before we met, it was still illegal to be gay in Ireland! It was only made legal in 1993. It's incredible that it's taken 18 years to get where we are."

Grannies

The smitten pair got hitched at an intimate ceremony in the Unitarian Church on St Stephen's Green on September 30, exactly 18 years after they first met.

They went on to have an upmarket bash in the Mansion House attended by 250 of their closest friends and family.

They are first celebrity couple to have a same-sex union in Ireland and Alan said he didn't realise the impact their big day would have.

"It only occurred to us when other people started talking about that. Brian Kennedy said to us just yesterday -- 'you must be so proud because you're doing so much for gay people across the country'," he continued.

Karl added: "Grannies who come to our panto have sent letters and cards, beautiful notes saying 'congratulations on your civil ceremony'. The fact that they even understand the concept is incredible -- some of these women are in their 80s. It has been really lovely.

"I think it just shows how normal we consider our situation. It's probably down to our jobs -- we meet people who are okay with it every day. "

The pair first met in McDonald's on Grafton Street in 1993 and their first date was a drink in the Yacht pub in Clontarf. Since then they have been inseparable, with the exception of a brief split three years ago which they say only brought them closer together.

Karl said he just felt the time was right when he proposed following the Civil Partnership Act last January .

"It wasn't about the fact that it was legal; I just wanted to ask him to marry me," he added.

But while he proposed to Alan during a break in filming Celebrity Salon, his original plan was to do it in a more public fashion.

"He was originally going to do it in the middle of the premiere of The Sound Of Music in the Grand Canal Theatre, just when they started singing Climb Every Mountain. He had the ring and everything -- thank heavens he didn't do it. Can you imagine with Pat Kenny on one side and Gay Byrne on the other, and Karl down on one knee asking 'will you marry me?'" Alan laughed.

The ceremony saw Brian Kennedy performing an emotional version of Somewhere and Alan reading out a poem to his new husband, leaving both in tears.

Alan also said that he felt his late parents, who died when he was a youngster, were there in spirit on the day.

"I felt there was something there, I think they were watching over yesterday and would have been very proud."

Karl also revealed how his dad hasn't been well over the past few months but got a boost from the day.

"My dad was in a coma a few weeks ago. He has been through the mill in the past few months. He was quiet on the day, he's not a man of a million words, but we're sure he enjoyed it," he added.

The happy couple have now flown to America to enjoy their honeymoon in Las Vegas and LA.