Last night's First Dates Ireland featured a sign language date and viewers were left feeling especially touched.
The episode featured design student John Charles, a member of the deaf community, and Dubliner Stephen, who is fluent in sign language as well as being Mr Gay Ireland.
It was the first time a date was conducted completely in sign language, in the Irish and UK version of the show.
The date revealed some of the difficulties faced by deaf people looking for love.
John Charles explained to Stephen that when he goes on a date with a hearing person who doesn't sign, they communicate using a phone, and send texts back in forth. He said:
It’s really frustrating when people talk into my ear.
I have to say ‘I’m Deaf!’ and then they just talk louder. I try explaining that talking louder doesn’t make a difference and it’s easier just to text.
The lads hit it off on the date, making it clear that they wanted to see each other after again. People immediately fell in love with them.
The two guys that used signing on first dates,was one of the most touching things I’ve ever seen,two fantastic guys #firstdatesireland
— Nigel kenny (@KennyNigel) January 30, 2018
— Ross Forde (@RossForde) January 30, 2018
#firstdatesireland John Charles is just so cool! Hope it’s lurrrrvvveeeeee!!! ❤️❤️❤️
— Sarah-Jane O'Regan (@electricginger) January 30, 2018
I have always wanted to learn sign language, it should be a language that's optioned in schools. #FirstDatesIRL
— Louise Tighe (@LouiseTighe) January 31, 2018
It was genuinely a lovely moment on the show and First Dates Ireland was praised for its inclusivity.
You know what the best thing about Irish Sign Language date on #FirstDatesIRL tonight was? The fact that @COCOtv didn't do a voiceover for the date. Such a small but powerful thing to do because it really made people pay attention to what a beautiful language ISL is! #YestoISL
— Caroline McGrotty (@CarolineMcTweet) January 30, 2018
— Aoife Casey (@aoifecasey13) January 30, 2018
Sadly, it wasn't to be as it was revealed after that Stephen had moved to London and in the Dater Update, John-Paul said he was still looking for his husband.
— Rachel Dooley (@RachDooley) January 30, 2018
From spirituality to sign language, it’s been another successful night in the First Dates restaurant.
— RTÉ2 (@RTE2) January 30, 2018
— QueenJ (@queenjules) January 30, 2018
However the outcome of the pair's date, it garnered a positive response from viewers and safe to say the show's hugely popular.
— Micheál Ó Ciaraidh (@_mickyc_) January 30, 2018
You know what to do.
Fancy someone who is Deaf and want to learn our language for a potential date? Check out https://t.co/nCmY1QXMH9 for #IrishSignLanguage classes.... Who needs tinder! #FirstDatesIRL pic.twitter.com/3fP5Voy4tI
— Irish Deaf Society (@IrishDeafSoc) January 30, 2018