A digital tale of a love less ordinary

Gerard Fitzgibbon

Reporter:

Gerard Fitzgibbon

THE REMARKABLE tale of an Abbeyfeale man who flew across the Atlantic to marry a woman he had never met is proof that love truly knows no boundaries.

THE REMARKABLE tale of an Abbeyfeale man who flew across the Atlantic to marry a woman he had never met is proof that love truly knows no boundaries.

THE REMARKABLE tale of an Abbeyfeale man who flew across the Atlantic to marry a woman he had never met is proof that love truly knows no boundaries.

Nigel McGill, 38, had been swapping love letters with American poet and novelist Rio Rox, a woman he had met on the internet, for just two weeks when he decided to follow his heart half way around the world and make her his wife.

After connecting on a dating website, the pair embarked on a “whirlwind” digital romance which saw them share e-mails, short stories and heavy metal music.

Nigel then flew all the way to North Carolina with an engagement ring in his pocket. Two days after they Rio collected him at the airport, the pair were married.

Rio, who moved back with Nigel to live in Abbeyfeale last month, said that the marriage fulfilled a prophetic vision she had in a dream years before.

Nigel, still elated with the success of the lightning courtship, said he never once doubted his heart. “Love is the ultimate truth. Love isn’t a decision, it’s a feeling”.

Nigel, who works at Emerald Jewellery on Main Street, Abbeyfeale said that their mutual love of art, poetry and music laid the foundation for a fairytale union.

“I’m the red and white knight and the black and white horse. She was a princess, a damsel in distress who needed rescuing. Now she’s my queen and I’m her king”.

Rio, who said that she is loving living in West Limerick because “I love overcast and rain”, said that even though there was an ocean between them, when they first got in contact Nigel stood out from all other potential suitors.

“I had plenty of marriage proposals off people who had money. But I said no.

“That wasn’t what I wanted. When I was online, I blocked every man who tried to chat me up.

“But Nigel stood out straight away. He was just genuine. He made himself very vulnerable to me.”

The pair first met online in April. For the next two weeks, they swapped as many as ten electronic love letters a day, as well as short stories and poems they had written and links to heavy metal music videos that described each other’s feelings.

On May 1 this year, Nigel put an emerald engagement ring in his pocket and caught a flight to Gastonia, North Carolina.

Rio, who admits to having a loud sense of style, met him at the airport wearing a top hat and tails that she had made herself.

They went out for dinner, and the following morning Nigel decided they were going to spend the rest of their lives together.

“She wasn’t expecting it. But I didn’t ask her to marry me. I told her, ‘you’re marrying me’. I just knew”.

Rio said that Nigel’s proposal fulfilled a vision she had had in a dream years previously. “I had a vision I was going to marry a man carrying a single red rose,” she said.

“I knew he was very sincere,” Rio said. It was inexplicable, but it felt right”.

The following day, the pair scrambled to obtain the marriage licence and two witnesses they needed to become man and wife before the day was out. In the end, with time running out, one of Rio’s neighbours and a long-lost friend were found to witness the nuptials.

On July 21, after more than two months in the US, Nigel and his new wife relocated to Abbeyfeale to put down roots.