Comedian Tiernan's wedding is a deadly serious business

 

THE GROOM didn’t want to talk to local people and the bride looked nervous.The sun shone though, Gaybo was full of chat and there was a great party at Castle Leslie to look forward to.

Despite a healthy gathering of reporters, photographers and security guards – hired from Cavan – many people passing the charming 199-year-old St Patrick’s Church in Corracrin, just outside Emyvale, Co Monaghan on Saturday afternoon had no idea who Tommy Tiernan was or that the award-winning comedian was wedding his manager in their little village.

The nuptials of Tiernan and Yvonne MacMahon were billed to get under way in the simple, stone chapel at 2.30pm but the first guests only began trickling into the car-park at 2.20pm. The first “celeb” to arrive was Maria Doyle- Kennedy who sang at the service.

When asked by photographers to stop for a moment, she kept walking and, with a smile, asked “Surely it’s not about me today?” Comedian Ardal O’Hanlon arrived with his wife Melanie. He was wearing a petrol blue suit, matching runners and, excusing his open neck-shirt, promised he had a dickie-bow in his pocket.

Broadcaster and head of the Road Safety Authority, Gay Byrne and his wife, Kathleen Watkins, were gracious as ever and stopped to talk to the gathering of mainly female, middle-aged locals who had gathered with their digital snappers hoping for a piece of local glamour. Byrne held his wife’s hand tightly as he offered his one bit of advice for the soon- to-be newlyweds: “Keep on holding each other’s hands.”

He was delighted that the invitations said the service would be followed by a “party” at nearby Castle Leslie. “Not a reception, a party,” he said beaming.

At about 2.55pm the groom arrived in a 09 Mercedes driven by his best man, fellow Navan man Hector Ó hEochagáin. Having sped up to the door of the church, the two bounded from the car and into the church as photographers surged.

“Take me while you can,” the groom snapped as he pulled his pale blue suit jacket closed, failing to acknowledge the local fans. Ó hEochagáin wore a matching sense of importance, suit and tan shoes and in their rush they forgot the rings which had to be retrieved from the car by one of the “Weddings by Franc” staff hovering about the scene.

Others more willing to stop and pose for photographs included broadcaster Ray Darcy and his partner Jenny; snooker star Ken Doherty, his wife Sarah and their little boy, Christian; television personality Bláthnaid Ní Chofaigh and comedienne Pauline McLynn. Just before 4pm the first two of the five bridesmaids arrived. All were dressed in floor-length, mint-green halter-neck dresses in chiffon, by designer Badgley Mischka.

A few moments later, in a 1959 pink Cadillac, arrived the bride and the remaining bridesmaids.

The lady of the moment emerged slowly from the back seat, hardly looking up at the mass of about 30 locals and journalists imploring “Yvonne!” to look their way for a picture.

“She looks a bag of nerves,” said one woman as the bride’s cream silk, strapless, floor-length dress was arranged around her and her cream chiffon veil was draped elegantly about pale face.

She stopped for one photograph and managed a wave as she was ushered inside and the small church doors were closed .

A “spokeswoman” outside, when asked who had designed the wedding gown, “couldn’t possibly” divulge that information.

However, in the opinion of the women with cameras outside, “Yvonne looks gorgeous”.

“But I was disappointed in Tommy,” said another. “You think the least he could have done was stop and say hello. We’ve been locked out of our church and he might have stopped for a minute.”

An hour and a half passed before the married couple emerged and were showered with petals. The new Mrs Tiernan looked relaxed, relieved and kissed her husband as they posed for less than a minute. They were then whisked off quickly in the pink Cadillac for the short journey to that party at the castle.