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.
Instead, she married another man and this man’s name was listed on her son’s birth certificate as the child’s father.
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.
How they met is a solitary tale of the devastating impact of lies.
They grew up in separate towns about 100 miles apart and they met by chance during a night out socialising in a town neither of them is from.Later that year, their son Mark was born but by then James’s fraught relationship with his mother Carmel was nearing breaking point. 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.From her son’s answers, Carmel realised that the man she had a brief relationship back in the 1980s, was not only her son’s father, but also the father of James’s girlfriend Maura.It is illegal for siblings to wed, and to protect themselves they have adopted the names of ‘James’ and ‘Maura’.For everybody present at last week’s ceremony it was a poignant occasion.A few weeks into our relationship I definitely knew that I wanted to marry James,’ says Maura.‘I had been with other people but it was different with James. I wanted to get married because I wanted to push things along. I wanted to make a commitment.’Aged in their 20s and living in Leinster, James and Maura decided to break their silence about their incestuous relationship to try to help others who find themselves in the same heartbreaking situation.And after they first spoke to the Mo S last May, their story made headlines all around the world.Both of them happen to be out socialising with friends in a town which neither of them is from. 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: two years after they met, Maura became pregnant and so the couple moved in together.