First Dates star admits attention causes rift with new love

Mark Casey
Mark Casey

Batchelor Mark Casey joined RTE’s new reality TV show First Dates Ireland hoping to find true love.

Instead, the show hooked him up on a blind date with a woman he’d been in a relationship with years ago. 

And this week 40-year-old Dubliner Casey discovered the downside of TV exposure after it caused a rift with a current partner he met through Facebook.

Three nights after appearing on last week’s show, Mark found himself the centre of attention from female fans on a night out at a Dublin club with his date.

The 34-year-old lady in his life wasn’t impressed when she was left alone while he spoke with the women who approached him and posed for selfies.

“I’ve been seeing someone since the show was recorded and before it was shown on TV,” Mark told the Sunday World.

“We went to a club together last Saturday night after I was on TV and there were some women who recognised me from the show and were coming up to me. That was an issue between us and it caused an argument.”

Casey, who lives in Swords, said all the attention has led to further problems in his relationship, after he cancelled a date with her this weekend. His partner suspected that he was going to see another woman, which he totally denies.

 “I had a birthday party down the country that I’d forgotten about and it was an overnight,” Mark said. 

“That has caused a row, but everything is getting blown out of proportion as a result of me being on the show.”

He hopes to resolve his problems with his current partner, he said. 

“We’ve only seen each other four times, but I like her,” Mark added. 

“I’m a secure person and I can understand her insecurities, but I don’t know what the future holds.”

Casey didn’t have any luck finding love on First Dates after the show teamed him up with an old flame from several years previously – Dubliner Gemma Byrne.

Mark revealed that he had applied for the show after growing tired of the online dating scene.

“Myself and Gemma both agreed that we got on really well, but there wasn’t going to be a second date.”

Gemma said later: “I felt like I was robbed. You really feel that they will be able to match you up with somebody that you could be suited to, but what can you do. It’s not really the show’s fault.”