It was a match made in sporting heaven as this New Years Eve saw Irelands top sprinter Ailis McSweeney wed her boyfriend of eight years, Dublins football captain Bryan Cullen at a festive ceremony in the sprint stars native village of Carrigtwohill in countyCork.
The bride who wore a stunning lace-over-satin wedding dress and bridal bouquet of red “grand prix” roses kept her groom waiting at the altar for 20 minutes before arriving with her proud father Eamon. For his part Bryan waiting inside flanked by several members of the 2011 All-Ireland winning Dublin team in St Mary’s Church in Carrigtwohill was nonplussed as he wore a black suit with a white shirt and white tie.
Sporting stars of Irelands Olympic as well as GAA fields and further afield were in attendance to see two stars of both spheres marry in style in the little village in East Cork. Among the guests were GAA players Bernard and Alan Brogan, goalkeeper Stephen Cluxton, Barry Cahill, Paul Griffin and Denis Bastick, former Dublin player, Tomas Quinn, who read a prayer of the faithful, rugby player Conal Keane who was a groomsman and former Dubs manager Pat Gilroy. Also in attendance on the day was Olympic hurdler Derval O’Rourke along with her fiance and fellow Olympian, sailor Peter O’Leary.
Afterwards it was off to Fota Island two miles from Carrigtwohill for the wedded pair and their many guests as they headed to the sedate scenic surroundings of the Fota Island Hotel (Cork hotel) and Golf Resort for the reception. The five-star hotel in the heart of East Cork is itself no stranger to hosting receptions for some of Irelands sporting elite as it had previously hosted Munster rugby star Ronan O’Gara’s wedding. Ringing in the New Year as a married couple, 2013 is the fitting new start of a new stage in the sports stars lives.