Documentary on One

Rita Ann and Mitzie Got Married

After a picnic in the woods, a walk on the beach and an historic change in Irish legislation in 2011, Rita Ann and Mitzie could become 'civil' partners and have their dream 'wedding'.

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4.2/5 (209 ratings)

Documentary Maker: Rita Ann Burke

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Documentary maker: Nicoline Greer

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Rita Ann and Mitzie Got Married

Five years ago, Mitzie Murphy had a picnic in the woods for her birthday. A friend of a friend, Rita Ann Burke was invited to the party, and, when they met, the pair quickly realised that they were made for each other.

Since they met, Rita Ann and Mitzie have known for a long time that they wanted to spend the rest of their lives together but up until last year, there was no way to publicly express that in Ireland.

After years of debate on the subject, and much opposition from religious groups, the Civil Partnership Act came into law last January and in the first year, 536 gay and lesbian couples have legally celebrated their partnerships in Ireland.

Though Rita Ann and Mitzie wish that their civil partnership was a marriage, in the way that a heterosexual couple could celebrate their love, they are so happy to be publicly making this commitment to each other, and in their hearts, they say, it is a wedding.

Both Rita Ann and Mitzie walked a long road before they came out as lesbians. Mitzie married when she was nineteen, went on to have a son before she fully admitted to herself that she was a lesbian in her late-thirties.

For Rita Ann, her teenage years were a time of confusion, watching friends get together with boys and wondering why boys were not attracted to her - and why she wasn't interested in them either. It wasn't until her mid-thirties, when she took up the violin - and fell for her violin teacher - that she began to realise why.

“Rita Ann and Mitzie Got Married” is the story of their love for each other, how they prepared for their civil partnership in the summer of 2011 and how important it was to share their dream wedding with their friends and families.

Made and narrated by Rita Ann Burke.

Production supervision by Nicoline Greer.

Sound supervision by Damien Channelles.

First broadcast 28th January 2012.

An Irish radio documentary from RTÉ Radio 1, Ireland - Documentary on One - the home of Irish radio documentaries.

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