Wedding guests complained at the wedding of Amelia Walsh and Sean O’Neill tied in Co Clare last week that the troops had wandered “uninvited” into the young couple’s reception.
However, the bride’s father Eamon Walsh, from Newmarket-on-Fergus, Co Clare, said yesterday that the pair were “proud” to have the Soldiers there on their big day. He said the newlyweds had actually invited the troops to come in and have photos with them earlier on in the day.
Nearly 300 troops were booked in to the Clare Inn, near Newmarket-on-Fergus, after their Iraq-bound aircraft was grounded at Shannon Airport by technical problems.
Amelia’s dad said the men were “invited in” by the bride and groom, who wanted them to get a taste of a real Irish wedding. “They behaved in an exemplary manner at all times and if our troops behaved in the same way when they are on peacekeeping duties, I would be very proud,” said Mr Walsh.
Some of the wedding guests had claimed the men “gatecrashed” the wedding. One said: “It wouldn’t have been so bad if they weren’t in uniform, but there were some people who were taken aback.”
Joe O’Neill, the groom’s uncle, said on his internet blog: “As the Soldiers began to mingle into the private banquet area, they were told by their commanding officer that the area was a private party and off limits. Common decency and Irish hospitality, however, overruled political opinions and the groom informed them they were welcome to join the party.”
Ireland is where some of my ancestors came from, and I would love to visit it at length one day. My only experience with the Emerald Isle unfortunately, was when my unit stopped over at Shannon airport on the way to Iraq in 2003, and they had to cover the airport windows to block the view of the fucking protesters outside.
I’m glad the Soldiers were welcomed warmly by the newlyweds and the Dad. As for the assholes who accused them of gatecrashing: screw you.