Philip and Aileen returned from their short honeymoon. They hit the ground running, returning to work, farming and school straight away. It’s great to be young.
Meanwhile, I’m still tidying up after the festivities and trying to recover. It must be that we are emotionally drained from it all.
The first photographs of the celebrations are back from Mark Coombes photography and they are amazing. Memories are so important.
I’m going to start printing photographs again
We no longer print our photographs. I was searching for funny pictures of Philip from his childhood days before the wedding and I noticed that I have nothing from 2008 onwards.
So I’m going to start printing photographs again. When my memory gets challenged, I want to have physical reminders of the special times in my life. The marriage of Captain Philip O’Leary to Aileen Sheehan is one of them.
Boys all grown up
On the eve of the wedding, Philip’s groomsmen – who were his brothers Colm and Diarmuid and two of his long-term friends Patrick and Ian –stayed in our house. His close mates, Ed, Breffni and Brian also came for dinner. It was lovely to have the house full and buzzing. I cooked dinner for 15.
My choice of menu was dictated by the dietary requirements of the guests
We had a goat’s cheese tartlet for starter and a fish pie for main course. My choice of menu was dictated by the dietary requirements of the guests. Everything was gluten free and inclusive of Patrick who follows a pescatarian diet.
These boys were constant welcome guests in our house when sausages and chips were once the fare. The welcome hasn’t changed.
They have turned into well-travelled and well-educated individuals and are now so much more interesting to have dinner with.
Though only in their early 30s, these lads have seen and experienced enough trauma to know that life is not a bed of roses
Conversation topics are wide and varied. Nevertheless, I remember the old times when they hadn’t a care in the world except getting a few bottles past me.
Though only in their early 30s, these lads have seen and experienced enough trauma to know that life is not a bed of roses. Hence, they turned up for Philip in the true spirit of friendship to make his day extra special.
Philip’s first cousin Michael and his girlfriend Katherine came from Texas, USA.
The UK contingent of my brother Conor and his family made it across the Irish sea to join us. The 100-guest party were more than enthusiastic to be able to attend the wedding.
Meeting of clans
A wedding is much more than the couple involved. It is the coming together of the clans.
The Sheehans and McCarthys on one side and the O’Learys, Bowes and Campions on the other. Two groups of families reveal their talents of music, singing and storytelling in support of the happy couple. Aileen and Philip have prepared for their wedding for a long time. It unfolded exquisitely in the beautiful gardens of Fernhill House Hotel in Clonakilty.
Philip opened the proceedings by singing his bride-to-be up the aisle with the Ronan Keating song This I Promise You.
“My love, here I stand before you, I am yours from this moment on…” rang out to goose bumps and tears. He set the tone for the day. His army colleagues from Collins Barracks provided an impressive guard of honour during the ceremony.
When Philip went on his first tour of duty with the defence forces, he bought Aileen a dog to keep her company
I know the highlight of the day for Philip and Aileen were the surprise ring bearers. When Philip went on his first tour of duty with the defence forces, he bought Aileen a dog to keep her company. Her name is Nala and she is a trusty companion. Shortly after that, they began training a golden retriever dog for the Dogs for the Disabled Charity. Luna was their first charge and is an exceptional dog. Aoife, Aileen’s sister-in-law marshalled the excited doggies up to the bride and groom.
Relations and friends added the magic. Beautiful words were spoken
It was the undoing of them both. Luna has begun her work with her new family as an assistance dog. This work is undertaken passionately by Philip and Aileen and people will continue to benefit from their dedication to the charity.
The day was perfect. Parents were proud. Siblings were unfaltering in their support. Relations and friends added the magic. Beautiful words were spoken. My line of the day came from Aileen as she deflected all the compliments away, as is her nature, saying, as she gestured towards their guests: “It’s people like you who make people like us,” She’s so right. Everyone needs the support team. Aileen and Philip have it in spades.