Tonight’s First Dates Ireland will feature its first sign language date

Tonight's episode of First Dates Ireland will feature the show's first ever sign language date.

John Charles, a 27-year-old design student from Edenderry, and Stephen, a 24-year-old HR professional from Dublin, will be the first pairing to conduct their date entirely through sign language.

Though Stephen is not deaf, a severe childhood speech impediment led him to search for other ways to communicate with those around him.

“Growing up I had a really severe speech impediment to the point where I couldn't even fully pronounce my own name properly. I knew exactly what I wanted to say, I’d talk all the time but people couldn’t understand me.”

“It meant that I was really interested in, if one way of communication wasn't working for you that you could just choose an alternative,” he tells viewers.

Check out the teaser clip below:

The gas part is that John and Stephen have actually met before, and seem immediately at ease with each other's company.

“I just knew I'd meet someone I knew – because well, it's Dublin!”

Oh, and did we forget to mention that Stephen currently holds the title of 'Mr Gay Ireland'?

He tells viewers, "One of my friends said, when I won Mr Gay Ireland, 'if you can’t find a boyfriend this year, you never will!'"

Tune into First Dates Ireland on RTÉ2 tonight at 9.30pm to see if John Charles and Stephen hit it off.

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