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‘Wedding' highlight of Ballydehob Country Music Festival

June 10th, 2017 7:20 PM

By Southern Star Team

Participants in the ‘Country & Western Wedding,' which attracted a huge crowd during the Ballydehob Country Music Festival last weekend. Included – from left – are Barry O'Brien (preacher), James Whelton (groom), Eileen Hickey (bride) and Margaret Murphy (bridesmaid). (Photo: Caroline Cronin)

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THE unseasonably wet and chilly weather failed to dampen the fun and craic at last weekend’s Ballydehob Country Music Festival. The headline acts in the Community Hall were a great success and the local hostelries provided almost non-stop music for their patrons throughout the weekend. So, a real Hootenanny atmosphere prevailed for the three days.

However, the real excitement for the vast majority of patrons was the Country and Western Wedding performed on the Bank House outdoor patio on Sunday afternoon.  One of the largest crowds seen in the village for many years, no doubt encouraged by the notice that a gift wasn’t necessary, accepted the invitation to the wedding! Kieran Cooke kept the gathering happy with some terrific musical entertainment as the guests anxiously awaited for the wedding party to make its appearance. 

The country music TV channel, Hot Country, also had a film crew present to record the proceedings. The eventual arrival of the bride and groom, Miss Ellie (Eileen Hickey) and Jessie James (James Whelton from Barryroe), with their entourage on horseback and horse carriages was like a scene from an old cowboy film, while the ceremony conducted by an imposing ‘man of the cloth’ and preacher (Barry O’Brien) will be long remembered.

With the nuptials completed, the happy couple had their maiden dance and then, in true Irish fashion, the heavens opened and a deluge of rain sent the crowd scattering into the bars or any other safe haven.  Certainly, a marriage not likely to be forgotten!

Congratulations was extended to chairman Eddie Hodnett, and his committee, for a job well done. Next up is the Fastnet Maritime and Folk Festival, commencing on Friday of next week.

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