The sweet couple were a big hit.

TV viewers were thrilled to see Ashley Pye from Donegal find a great match on last night’s First Dates Ireland on RTE Two.

And the brave Killygordan woman’s open discussion on bullying and having an eating disorder earned a lot of praise.

Ashley – First Dates Ireland

Ashley (25) was paired with animation student Eric (24) from Limerick for a blind date in the romantic restaurant.

First Dates fans quickly fell for the ‘cute’ couple and sensed their chemistry right away.

After a pleasant start, Ashley and Eric’s conversation turned to serious topics and they shared their experiences of anxiety and bullying.

Ashley told Eric about the impact that bullying had on her as a teenager.

“These fellas, when I was 13/14, every time I walked past they used to chant ‘Ugly Betty’. Over time it wore me down. I ended up having an eating disorder for three years. It really knocked my confidence for a long time,” Ashley said.

After recovering, learning and growing from the challenges, Ashley said she now wants to study to be a counsellor.

“I think we need more people like you around,” Eric said.

“We need more people like you too,” Ashley replied.

Eric, who has a speech impediment, revealed to Ashley how he suffered from anxiety as a child.

The couple’s honesty helped them find a real connection, before they bonded over a love of dogs!

The date ended with both Eric and Ashley saying that they would like to see each other again – to take their dogs for a walk together.

At the end of the show viewers were told that Ashley and Eric then “went for a drink and lost track of time” and Eric missed his bus home.

However, Ashley’s Chihuahua ‘Newton’ and Eric’s Husky ‘Khain’ have yet to meet.    

Still, viewers wait with hope that it could be puppy love!