One half of the Cheeky Girls duo, Monica Irimia, has found love in the West where she has just spent a week with her Irish boyfriend, Tuam night club manager Darren Geoghegan.
The Romanian-born singing and dance star who shot to international fame with her twin sister Gabrielle on the UK TV show "Popstars: The Rivals", is dating Darren since last June.
She flew back to London yesterday (Wednesday) after a romantic week in the West and during their stay The Cheeky Girls wowed punters in Darren's parents' Geoghegan's Nightclub in Tuam over the weekend.
The scantily clad Eastern beauties did a sexy dance routine as they sang their UK hit song The Cheeky Song to rapturous applause from the Tuam audience.
The song sold over 1.2 million copies worldwide and their first album got a silver disc for sales in the UK.
"I met Darren in June and since then we have become inseparable," says Monica. But their meeting was by chance.
The Cheeky Girls were due to play a gig in Galway and a driver was dispatched to collect them from the plane but he went to Shannon Airport by mistake.
"We had flown into Ireland West Airport Knock and when the driver realised his mistake he phoned his good friend, now my current boyfriend, Darren in Tuam. He asked him to collect us. That is how we met purely by chance.
"It was a very fortunate chance as to be honest before that I wasn't into having steady boyfriends or being in a relationship. But Darren is so special to me and we just clicked instantly and now I don't want to let it go," says Monica.
"We get on very well and I really love being here. I have been coming over as much as I can, whenever I'm free and he has been coming to England to spend time with me as often as possible," she added.
Monica is not fazed by the West of Ireland weather either and she finds the culture similar to Romania. "We had so much sunshine this summer that it was not much of a different climate from Romania. The two cultures are also so similar. Me and my sister have learned that Ireland has a lot in common with our country," said the singer.
She added that she has come to love Tuam and the surrounding areas since she started dating Darren in June.
"I love the town and Darren has taken me for lots of trips around the countryside in the West. He has taken me to Connemara, the Cliffs of Moher, Ailwee Caves and we went cycling in the Aran Islands. That was an amazing experience.
It is only the second time for her sister Gabriela to visit the hometown of Monica's Irish boyfriend and she hopes the romance will last.
Her twin sister added. "The longest relationship Monica ever had was for six months so if she passes the six months with Darren then he may be the one," she laughed. We have had amazing times with the people here during our visits as everybody has been so nice and so welcoming. I will definitely be coming here more often, especially now that my sister has an Irish boyfriend," she said with a smile.
Donal Healy, Marketing Manager, Ireland West Airport Knock said 'We are delighted to have been able to play cupid for Monica from the Cheeky Girls following her visit here a few months ago. She is one of many celebrities who have passed through here in the recent months and years who have fallen in love with the West of Ireland but she went one step further and fell in love with one of the locals. We look forward to welcoming the cheeky girls as they become frequent visitors to our airport over the coming months and hopefully years'.
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