Collin’ in love | 

Ronan Collins’ daughter Jessica says ‘yes’ to partner after finding love on First Dates

Coincidence as late fiancé’s dad was gifted Ronan’s drumsticks

Ger Lynch and Jessica Collins

Jessica’s dad Ronan

Eugene MastersonSunday World

After first meeting on TV show First Dates, Ger Lynch knew exactly where he would get down on one knee and ask the love of his life to be his future wife – the restaurant where it all began.

Just over three years ago, Ger’s eyes were captivated by leggy blonde Jessica Collins when she sauntered into the Gibson hotel in Dublin to meet him for his date.

Little did he know then that the woman of his dreams was a daughter of broadcaster Ronan Collins and that he would have an eerie connection.

Ger and Jessica’s TV date was in the autumn of 2019, and it was only last weekend after much toing and froing that Ger decided to put a ring on it.

Jessica’s dad Ronan

Jessica (42), who is an events manager and part-time comedian, explains to the Sunday World that when they first met she had her own pad in Sandyford.

“After the show was done then we went on another date and decided that we would stay in touch and remain friends,” she recollects.

When Covid struck early in 2020 Jessica moved back into her parents’ home in Navan, which is just a 20-minute drive from Ger’s place in Duleek.

“It became my go-to place, just two friends hanging out like when you didn’t want to hang out with your parents every day,” says Jessica.

When a second lockdown came, Jessica decided to bite the bullet.

“I asked Ger if he wanted to have a lodger and he said ‘yeah, just me and the pups’,” she recollects.

“So, we moved in together for 11 months and on November 11, 2021, we discovered when we were having a bottle of wine that we were crazy about each other and that this is more than what we think it is and everybody else thinks and neither of us wanted to mess it up.”

Ger (41), who grew up in Tallaght and is a Global Digital Master Trainer for Microsoft, confirms they took it easy at the start.

But after falling for each other and cementing their relationship the couple knew they would one day be married and Ger roped in some of Jessica’s friends to help her pick out an engagement ring.

The couple were going to a comedy gig in the 3Arena last weekend and Ger arranged a dinner beforehand in the restaurant of the Gibson hotel.

After their meal, Ger said he was nipping off to the toilet and Jessica followed suit. When they came back two champagne glasses were positioned on the cleared off table.

Jessica then remembers the most magical moment of her life.

Ger got down on one knee in front of the people and proposed to me, which was emotionally overwhelming, it was gorgeous. Everyone clapped. It wouldn’t be like Ger to put himself on show like that to be fair to him.

“As confident as he came across he told me he was terrified, but he nailed it. It was a dream proposal, I can’t lie.”

The couple then phoned their parents and continued the celebrations at the comedy gig.

Ger had already got the thumbs up from her dad.

“Unbeknownst to me, Ger had approached my dad the week before and asked for his blessing, and dad was thrilled.”

Ger went to see his mother on Wednesday and gave her tickets to see Ronan’s showband show in Galway the following night, where she met Jessica’s parents for the first time.

But remarkably Ger’s late dad Donal had met Ronan many years ago and even got a pair of his drumsticks off him.

“My dad was a producer for Tops of the Town in the 1980s, so he would have kind of met the same type of people at the time

“I don’t know how he came across Ronan’s drumsticks but I remember them as a kid, because dad sold his drum-kit to get presents for us, but he kept the drumsticks and in my childhood I can remember dad tapping on the worktop with the drumsticks or on his knees.

“At least my dad and her dad got to meet each other, which is comforting.”

Jessica, who says the couple hope to have their wedding in the summer of 2024, admits she was awestruck that Ger’s dad owned a pair of drumsticks belonging to her own father.

“It is very strange as my dad doesn’t give those away easily. But it did kind of feel like Donal was with us when we were down there on Thursday night in Galway at the show. It all just seemed to fall into place very well,” she says.

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