Irish Wedding


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Europe » Ireland » County Tipperary » Carrick-on-Suir
September 9th 2022
Published: July 6th 2023
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Fiona's family are from Ireland. We received an invite from Fiona's cousin to attend her wedding. Fiona really wants to go, so we organise to stay with her uncle for a few days and decide to travel to Ireland with Fiona's mother (Anne), who also lives in England. We drive to Fiona's mum's house where I leave my car and we move our luggage into her car. I am designated driver of Anne's car since she doesn't like driving on motorways. Our drive is over 3 hours as we take the roads from Southeast England to Pembrokshire Dock in Wales to catch the ferry over to Ireland. The weather conditions are awful with strong winds and rain. I am not looking forward to the choppy sea, but it will be in the middle of the night when we travel by boat so hoping I can sleep through it.

After our long drive to Pembrokshire Dock, we quickly line up at the dock to get ready to board our ferry. Once parked up on the ferry, we take our pillows and blankets up to the top deck where we spend our night in the restaurant. I manage to sleep for the majority of the 4 hours ferry crossing. The crossing is quite rough but I manage to sleep through it, with the odd occasion of waking up; most likely because I am sleeping on long narrow seats in the restaurant which do not give much room for switching sides.

When we arrive in Ireland at Rosslare Harbour it is 6:30am. I am feeling refreshed from sleeping on the ferry. Our drive to Carrick-on-Suir is about an hour away. When we arrive in Carrick-on-Suir, we go to a supermarket and buy breakfast items for taking to Fiona's uncle's house (his name is Pa, short for Patrick) for an Irish Cooked Breakfast.

Once we get to Pa's home, we are greeted by him and his two dogs. It seems Pa lives outside Carrick-on-Suir in a very remote and peaceful village. I enjoy a much needed coffee and the Irish Cooked Breakfast is very nice - it is similar to an English Cooked Breakfast but with white pudding (I understand to be made up of oatmeal, bread, pork meat, fat and suet). The bacon and Sausages seem to taste nicer here in Ireland, than what we get back in England.

We spend the day at Pa's as Anne's siblings come to visit and we enjoy talking and having many cups of tea. We have the TV on and see the news to say the Queen is seriously unwell and all royal members are quickly making their way up to Scotland to visit her at the Royal residence in Balmoral. Anne wonders if the Queen has already died because not much is being given away by the news reporter. We continue to watch the news, waiting for further updates, until the dreaded news that Queen Elizabeth II has passed away peacefully. Although not a complete surprise given her age, it it still feels like a shock because it just always felt the Queen would live forever. For the past 38 years, all I've ever known is our monarchy having the Queen. Although I never personally knew her, there is a sense of sadness that we have lost our Queen. I did wonder if she would give up shortly after losing her husband (Prince Philip) and kept saying to Fiona I think she'll see the Jubilee through for her 70 years on the throne but won't be around much longer. The Queen looked lost and became quickly frail without Prince Phillip who had past away the previous year at the grand age of 99.

Later that day we visit a nearby town called Clonmel for the ladies to purchase some accessories for the wedding. I take Jovie to Mcdonald's as I need to tick Ireland off as a country for my Mcdonald's challenge and disappointingly learn the Ireland menu is exactly the same as the UK, so there isn't anything new to try.

Next day

We decide to go out for the day to explore Ireland and plan to visit Waterford, a much bigger town for Anne and Fiona to look for bits needed for the wedding that they weren't able to get yesterday. We first visit Waterford Suir Valley Railway, a heritage narrow gauge railway that runs along 10 kilometres of the abandoned Waterford Dungarvan line. The line offers beautiful views of Ireland countryside that runs along the River Suir. We also spot some tree fairies, which Jovie enjoys. Once we return back to the train station, the train driver allows for Jovie and myself to get inside the train and blow the horn... choo-choo!!

From the railway we head to Waterford and park up in the quays to explore the nearby city centre. This place may be known to you for it's crystal, however, I understand crystal is no longer produced in Waterford, but the factory and shop is still present and tours inside are possible. Waterford appears to have a lot of history and for someone who has never been before there seems quite a bit here to see; from crystal factory to medieval museum to treasures of Viking invasion. I must admit I am getting quite frustrated because I really want to do some more exploring but it seems Anne just wants to shop and then go back to Pa's house. Fiona senses the tension between Anne and myself and asks me to just go with the flow and says "we'll have to come back another time". Indeed, we'll have to come back another time. I had previously considered bringing a car over to Ireland from England and can now really see the benefits to doing this in the not too distant future. I use my time wisely in the city centre and enjoy pushing Jovie around in the pushchair as I embrace the Irish atmosphere and explore shops 'to my liking' and appreciate the architecture, with some buildings appearing to be quite old-fashioned.

Next day

The day of the wedding, so we spend the morning getting ready and then Pa drives us to Kilkenny which is a good forty minute drive away. Kilkenny looks a lively and beautiful medieval town. I understand this town is famous for its medieval buildings and castle and is referred to as "the marble city". The wedding and reception is at the Kilkenny River Court Hotel which has the River Nore run next to it and on the opposite side of the river is Kilkenny Castle. The wedding setting is just beautiful and the sun is out after a couple of cloudy days here in Ireland. The ceremony starts and Jovie starts crying, she's not long woken up from the car journey and won't stop crying, so I have to take her outside and we miss the whole thing.

The wedding breakfast is superb. It's nice to meet Fiona's relations, most for them for the first time. The wedding party continues until the early hours. The Irish know how to have a good party. Jovie is still dancing and its now gone midnight.

Next day

We enjoy a lay-in after a late night and then prepare for the wedding celebrations to continue when we meet at Antony's Inn, in Pilstown. The celebrations are really good and you really get that Ireland vibe as everyone is in a jolly mood, singing, dancing and drinking... I understand that this is quite common for Irish people to meet and celebrate. I think it is great and everyone seems so friendly and approachable. This culture here feels very different to back home and in a good way.

Next day

Our last day in Ireland as we catch the ferry back tonight. Fiona and her family take me to St. Mary's Cemetery to visit her nan's grave. We walk around the graveyard looking at the different gravestones as the Irish provide their loves ones with lavish and beautiful graves. The culture in Ireland reminds me of my nan's culture in some ways. My nan's heritage is Romani and their costumes are similar as it's believed you're paying your respects to that person you've lost and have given them the best send off. I am not sure if the Irish believe the same, but from my perspective it seems this way. It also seems this area has a high suicide record, as many gravestones who young adults and I understand the cause of death to be suicide. I wonder living in this rural area may make some people feel isolated and there is lack of career prospects.

We visit some shops to get some treats and bits to take home and stop off for lunch with Fiona's family at The Carraig Hotel and have a delicious carvery.

Afterwards, Fiona, Jovie and myself go and visit Ormand Castle. This castle originally was built as a riverside castle around 1315 but was then extended in 1565 to an Elizabethan manor house, the first of its kind in Ireland. The 10th Earl of Ormand who built the manor house was a distant cousin to Queen Elizabeth I. We first enter the long hall, which is almost the whole length of the manor house. There are plasterwork portraits of Queen Elizabeth I and her brother King Edward VI and you can sense the connection with the Tudor monarchy. We discover that its the same family who built the manor house that built Kilkenny Castle and they moved out of Ormand Castle to later live in Kilkenny.

It's a nice castle and manor house. Fiona said when she used to visit as a child that she dreamt of getting married at the castle. Maybe we should inquiry into having an Irish wedding...

Our time in Ireland has been nice. Its been good meeting Fiona's family and joining in with the wedding celebrations but next time I come to Ireland I'd like to do more sightseeing. I feel Ireland has a lot to offer for anyone coming to visit.


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10th July 2023
Jovie enjoying the train ride

Great times in Ireland
Good to spend time with family.
13th July 2023
Jovie enjoying the train ride

Ireland
most definitely but next time I visit I want to do some more exploring :)
10th September 2023

Irish Wedding
You're right, the Irish sure know how to have a good time! I can understand your frustration at not being able to do enough of the travel-thing, I hope you get more time to go back to Ireland again soon. The Queen's passing was indeed a sad day, I also knew nothing more than having the Queen for all of my life... You've inspired me to look into exploring more of Ireland - beautiful country and people 😊
13th September 2023

Emerald Isle
Hi Alex, thanks for commenting. It was a sad day indeed and scary to think a year has now passed. I'm glad to have inspired you. I've been thinking lots about going back to Ireland as its quite easy to take a car over and explore in your own time.

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