Darren Lamont and Francis Timmons in Stephen's Green

Wedding Talk

Cllr. Francis Timmons ties the knot with partner Darren Lamont in first ever wedding at Dublin's Freemasons' Hall

'We are proud to have been a part of making history'

South Dublin County Councillor Francis Timmons and his partner of 19 years Darren Lamont have officially tied the knot in the first ever wedding to take place in Dublin's Freemasons' Hall.

The couple, who exchanged vows on Halloween, said that they were delighted to have been part making history, and used the news of their big day to dispel some misconceptions about Freemasonry.

"There are a lot of misunderstandings and misconceptions around Freemasonry in Ireland and not least of these regards the membership," said Darren Lamont.

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"Freemasonry is open to any man regardless of race, religion, age, social background or sexual orientation.

"As an openly gay man I must admit when I first joined the fraternity I wasn’t sure if I would be accepted, however in my lodge I found acceptance on a level I hadn’t experienced before. "

Darren explained that when he contacted the Grand Lodge of Ireland to ask permission to hold his wedding to Independent Clondalkin councillor Francis, he thought his request may have been refused.

"I had thought permission might be refused but was overjoyed when I received confirmation," he said.

"As it was the first time a wedding ceremony had been performed in the hall we had to have the venue approved by the HSE but the hall plays host to a number of public events so there was no issue there."

"We are proud to have been a part of making history." 

Not only was it the first wedding to take place in the unique building, but it was also a same-sex wedding which, Lamont says shows "how open and accepting Irish Freemasonry is".

Homophobic letter

While for the couple, their happy day was a celebration of love and acceptance, Cllr. Timmons revealed that he and his partner had been subjected to homophobic abuse in the past.

"Earlier this year we got a vile homophobic letter in our post box but we have felt huge support since. Up to and following our wedding we have been inundated with hundreds of kind and supportive messages on Facebook, E-mails and texts and have really felt supported,’’ Cllr. Timmons said.

"’I grew up in a time when it was illegal to be gay in Ireland where homophobic language and actions were common place and the fact that I am now a married gay man shows how far as a nation we have come."

Open to the public

Built between 1866 and 1869, Freemasons’ Hall on Dublin’s Molesworth Street has been the headquarters of Irish Freemasonry for almost 150 years.

Prior to its existence, the Grand Lodge of Ireland leased a number of premises around Dublin and eventually created Freemasons’ Hall to serve as a permanent home and monument to Irish Freemasonry.

Freemason's hall is now a registered wedding venue and is hoping to welcome many more couples to celebrate their happy day in the future.