“There’s no pulling out now, I suppose,” joked a relaxed Dáithí Ó Sé as he walked up the steps of St Mary’s Church, in Dingle, Co Kerry to wed his beautiful bride Rita Talty.
After being mobbed earlier by a group of women on the street, the man who had until now been one of Ireland’s most eligible bachelors, broke free saying: “Now, if it’s all right, I have to go and get married… This is like the Rose of Tralee, only I’m not getting paid for it,” said Dáithí, 36.
Rita, 29, from New Jersey, USA, arrived in a white Chrysler. She was applauded by hundreds of onlookers. She looked stunning in an off-white vintage gown, with lace detail, and a fascinator perched delicately on her head.
The couple met when Rita represented New Jersey at the 2008 Rose of Tralee Festival.
Celebrities in attendance included television personalities Catherine Thomas, with partner Enda Waters, and Maura Derrane and her husband, Fine Gael TD John Deasy. There, too, were Claire Byrne, who co-hosted The Daily Show on RTÉ, with Dáithí.
Among the early arrivals at the church were the groom’s parents, Maidhc Dainin and Kathleen Ó Sé, of Cill Chuain, Dingle. “It took a while to get him hitched, but I’m so glad for both of them… He’ll still be coming home to me,” said Kathleen of her son.
The bride’s parents, Mike and Ann Talty, natives of Mullagh, in west Clare, who emigrated in the 1970s, led family and friends from New Jersey.
There was a poignant moment at the start of the Mass when Dáithí lit a candle in memory of his late sister, Deirdre, who died 10 years ago. Dáithí’s father, a prominent author, played accordion at the end of the Mass at which Canon Declan O’Connor, parish priest of Listowel, and a friend of the Ó Sé family, officiated.
As the couple posed afterwards for the cameras, Dáithí quipped: “That’s all she’s getting,” after a prolonged kiss for the benefit of photographers.
Around 150 guests attended the reception in the Carlton Hotel, Tralee.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved