Lady and Lord of the dance get married

Lord of the Dance Michael Flatley today married his leading lady, Niamh O'Brien.

After a whirlwind romance the couple exchanged vows in front of family and friends in Fermoy, Co Cork.

The multi-millionaire dance star and his bride were swamped by photographers and hundreds of fans as they arrived at the church separately.

Spectators surrounded the churchyard and as they tried to get a glimpse of the dancer, who drove himself to the ceremony in a soft-top Mercedes.

Ms O'Brien, from Co Kildare, arrived at the church with her father Thomas in a black and silver Rolls Royce Phantom, specially purchased by the bridegroom for the occasion.

They were escorted in through the crowds by minders.

After the ceremony, excited fans were held back by police and bouncers as the newlyweds posed and kissed.

The bride wore an ivory gown, reported to have cost €100,000. She was accompanied by six bridesmaids, including her two sisters Aoibheann and Derval, who wore black floor-length dresses.

A 33-piece orchestra performed during the service, while University College Cork student Sarah Barry, who was spotted by the couple singing at the unveiling of the World War One Memorial in the town last weekend, sang a hymn.

Music was directed by Mr Flatley's friend Ronan Hardiman, who composed the award winning score for his latest show.

Northern Ireland peace campaigner Fr Aidan Troy conducted the ceremony, along with local parish administrator, Fr Anthony O'Brien.

Mr Flatley's family members who jetted in from Chicago included his younger brother and best man Patrick, his father Michael senior, mother Elizabeth, sisters Liza and Annie and other brother Thomas.

Friends, family, colleagues and locals who have become friendly with Mr Flatley are tonight attending a reception at his home, Castlehyde.

Former Taoiseach Albert Reynolds and his wife Kathleen, who went to school with Mr Flatley Snr, Health Minister Mary Harney and husband Brian Geoghehan, broadcasters Gerry Ryan and Gerry Kelly, promoters Jim and Peter Atkin, and multi-millionaire JP McManus were among those in attendance.

Mr Flatley, 48, shot to fame in the Riverdance and Lord of the Dance stage shows. Ms O'Brien, 32, is a member of the Celtic Tiger dance troupe.

The couple first met on the set of Riverdance in 1993, but only became an item earlier this year.

Mr Flatley, who split with fiancee Lisa Murphy earlier this year after almost six years together, has been married before.

In 1986 he wed Polish beauty Beata Dziaba in a registry office in Copenhagen. The couple divorced in 1997.

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