Laura Lacole and Eunan O'Kane

Laura Lacole and Eunan O'Kane was made a patron of Humanists UK for her contribution to advancing human rights, equality, and justice.

Model, footballer, and humanist marriage campaigners

Model and activist Laura Lacole and professional footballer Eunan O’Kane became the first couple in Northern Island to have a legally recognised humanist marriage in the summer of 2017. The legal marriage was a result of a successful campaign and legal battle led by the couple and Humanists UK. Since Laura and Eunan’s wedding the Northern Ireland Attorney General has appealed the decision to allow legal humanist marriage and In January 2018 the Northern Ireland Court of Appeal concluded its final hearings pending a final decision whether to allow legal recognition to future humanist weddings. Laura and Eunan are to date the first and only couple to have been legally married in a humanist ceremony in the UK outside of Scotland.

Laura is a model, media personality, and humanist campaigner. Aside from humanist marriage, she regularly speaks out on topics such as freedom of expression, the promotion of science, and women’s rights. Laura is also a founding member of Atheist NI, the first atheist organisation in Northern Ireland and has appeared as a guest on topical programmes such This Week, Jeremy Vine, Newsnight, as well as on Sky News, BBC News, and many other outlets.

Eunan is a professional footballer who currently plays in midfield for Leeds United where he’s made a total of 52 appearances across two seasons and has become a firm favourite with the fans due to his technical ability, performances on the pitch, and engagements off it. His previous club career has seen him also play for Torquay United and Bournemouth, making 16 Premier League appearances for the latter. Eunan made his international debut for the Republic of Ireland in March 2016 and as of 2018 has won a total of seven caps for his country.