Homeless lovers wed in style after winning Lord Mayor's heart
The Romeo and Juliet of Dublin streets – two homeless lovers – tied the knot today and celebrated in style after capturing the Lord Mayor’s heart.
Joanne Smith, from Manchester, and Joseph Neeson, from Dublin, met two years ago while both living rough in the city centre.
Lord Mayor Royston Brady read in a local paper about their coming registry office marriage and decided to track them down to offer them a reception venue as well as hosting a party this afternoon in the Mansion House – the Lord Mayor’s own residence.
Mr Brady was also expected to tell the couple this afternoon that he has arranged a flat for them to live in.
Wearing fluorescent pink fishnets, black boots, a mini-skirt and pink top, Joanne arrived at the registry office in style to cheers from around 50 relatives and friends, many of whom are homeless themselves.
She carried flowers to match her bright pink dreadlocks.
Joseph was dressed all in leather and had dyed his hair bright orange for the occasion.
The couple were cheered with wolf whistles and heckles as they were pronounced husband and wife.
The wedding was organised with the help of David Kearny, operations manager at the YMCA, who met the pair through his outreach work in the city.
“I am delighted to be part of their day,” he said.
“It proves that love can conquer all because these two had nothing when they started their journey together and this is a fairytale ending.”
Known as Joey and Jo to their friends, the couple have lived on Dublin streets together for the last two years.
They have refused to accept emergency accommodation because Joanne would not leave her dog, Bully.
The YMCA clubbed together with two local companies to pay for their wedding outfits as well as a honeymoon in Galway, including first class train tickets and five nights in a hotel.
Friend Stuart Hunter, a busker who has lived on the streets with Joseph for the last year, said: “He helped me when I was down and I brought my guitar along today to play for them and say thank you for what they have done for me.”
Members of Joseph’s family from Kimmage, South Dublin, also attended the ceremony, including his parents Joe and Pauline and his older sister Gloria.
Father Joe said he could not believe that he was here witnessing such an unusual wedding.
“They were originally going to have the reception in a local park because all their friends and dogs could be there,” he said.
“No one ever thought it would come to this.”