The manager of a livestock mart in Kerry wants couples-to-be to consider the auction ring as a likely venue to tie the knot.
And women, seeking a partner, could also “size up” a man in Kenmare Mart, Dan McCarthy believes.
Forget the ambience and fragrance of any hotel or nightclub, he suggests, convinced the livestock centre’s underused buildings have certain advantages.
A flashy, dark nightclub could not compare to a mart where a woman could see a man in his best farm finery. “They would see him properly,” said Dan, “and would also have a real look at his buying potential and his business skills.”
Dan is also pushing the sheep and cattle auction rooms as a venue for civil weddings, underlining the mart’s “solid and unique attractions”.
Guidelines introduced 10 years ago by the HSE saw the country’s first-ever civil marriage outside a registry office take place at Cahernane Hotel in Killarney.
Mart manager Dan said there are twice-weekly marts in Kenmare, and that this year had been very busy. “If it’s a sheep farmer, it’s Mondays and for a cattle farmer it’s Thursdays,” Dan advised anyone wanting to “eye up” a man.
Dan, an Independent county councillor, believes couples-to-be are interested in alternative venues and are looking for something unique,
“The marts are not being used to their full potential. In Leicestershire in the UK, a wedding took place in a mart — so Kenmare would be ideal,” he said.
The wedding at Melton Mowbray earlier this month, he said, was flagged to him by a friend and intrigued him because it was different and he was always on the lookout for further uses for the modern mart building, locally.
For a marriage ceremony, the mart — a covered building in a rural setting — is utterly suitable, he said. There are two “aisles” and “a catwalk” — and the ring itself could be at the centre and everyone in the tiered seating would view the proceedings.
It is not clear if a mart would meet the requirement of the HSE, which oversees civil marriages in registry offices, and elsewhere, as “a seemly and dignified venue for the solemnisation of marriages”.
Dan says he is going to apply to have Kenmare Mart, owned by a co-operative, on the list of approved venues.
It already meets a number of the criteria including that “the place in which a marriage may be solemnised must have adequate capacity to accommodate the numbers attending the ceremony”; that solemnisation occurs in “a place that is open to the public”; and meets required insurance along with fire health and safety certification.
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