July 27, 2010
Slow start leads to a whirlwind romance for Black 47 fans

Slow start leads to a whirlwind romance for Black 47 fans

Published: Tuesday, July 27, 2010, 4:45 AM     Updated: Tuesday, July 27, 2010, 4:48 AM
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Black 47, an Irish-American rock alternative band based in New York City, in a way, is responsible for at least four marriages that lead singer, Irish expatriate Larry Kirwan, knows of. One of them involves Stapleton resident Alyson Cramer and Francis Mahon, a native of Wexford, Ireland.
For nearly a decade, Kirwan has been taking Americans on an annual tour of Ireland. Ms. Cramer, a huge fan of the 20-year-old band, secured a spot on the trip taken June of last year.

Because Kirwan has a loyal following in Ireland, he posts on his Web site,, details about where he and the tour will be heading so fans can come meet up.

Mahon met the group twice during last year’s trip, which is how he met Ms. Cramer, but nothing developed.
And nothing developed when Mahon came to New York for the Black 47 concert cruise around the harbor last September, where he met Ms. Cramer again.

The third time was the charm.

In February, their love of Black 47 reunited them when Mahon posted a comment on the band’s Facebook fan page saying how upset he was that its new album, “Bankers and Gangsters,” was being released in the United States months before making it to Ireland. Kirwan, who also is from Wexford, replied saying he’d arrange for a copy to be sent to him.

Ms. Cramer, who checks the Black 47 fan page regularly, saw the exchange. Remembering Mahon, she sent him a friend request.

Things took off from there: After weeks of chatting online and by phone, Mahon made a spur-of-the-moment decision to visit her for her birthday in March.

This time when they met, the chemistry was there.

In fact, they hit it off so well that over the course of his 10-day trip the two realized they wanted to pursue a relationship, but felt the long-distance thing wouldn’t work. Ms. Cramer suggested they get married so he could come live here, legally.

“At first I was kind of taken aback,” Mahon said of his initial reaction. “But then I realized it was the only practical way to advance the relationship.

“It really was we either completely forget about a relationship or commit to it entirely.”

On March 22, the last day of his trip, the couple exchanged wedding vows at Borough Hall in St. George. Hours later, Mahon was on a plane back to Ireland, where he was to remain for a month.

“That first week [back in Ireland] was tough,” Mahon said, noting he was able to communicate to his bride via Skype. Ms. Cramer, a teacher at Washington Irving High School, Manhattan, was able to sneak away to Ireland on spring break for what turned out to be their honeymoon.


For Mahon’s green card application, the Immigration and Naturalization Services needed to know when the couple had connected on Facebook.

They were stunned when they checked the computer history to see which day she contacted him and counted up the weeks.

“It was less than two months from when I ‘friend requested’ him to when we ultimately got married,” Mrs. Mahon said.
    After four months of marriage, the Mahons say they are very happy.

“Looking back on it, I don’t regret it for a second,” Mahon said.

Mrs. Mahon said that while “a fair number of people couldn’t understand the quickness of it,” they’ve heard from other couples who married very quickly after meeting — one after five weeks, another after eight days — who enjoyed long, happy marriages.
Kirwan said in a recent interview that marriages between Black 47 fans “have lasted.

“In fact, we just had our first baby from one of these unions,” he said.

Mrs. Mahon notes she and her husband are the third of four couples to get married from the tour.

“The fourth couple got married a few weeks ago,” she said.

Kirwan reports there was the possibility of a fifth marriage. The band leader says he overheard a man pop the question during Black 47’s most recent tour in Ireland a few weeks ago — but the woman turned him down.

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inwood July 27, 2010 at 9:16PM

That Old Black 47 Magic!!!!!!

Francis Mahon July 27, 2010 at 9:27PM

Magic, indeed, inwood - led me to my Staten Island Baby!

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