Hundreds gather for McManus wedding

The lavish wedding of racing tycoon JP McManus' only daughter Sue Ann is taking place today.

The sun shone on the society wedding of the year today as racing tycoon J.P. McManus' only daughter walked down the aisle.

A day for which no expense was spared started in a small white painted village church and ended with a banquet for 1,500 guests in the largest marquee ever erected in Ireland.

The prayers of stunning bride Sue Ann McManus were answered - the rain held off and she was able to smile happily beside her new husband Cian Foley outside the Martinstown Parish Church in Co Limerick.

Hundreds of locals turned out to watch the wedding, filling the lanes outside the church and busily snapping away with cameras.

Sue Ann wore a magnificent white wedding dress by Irish designer Synan O’Mahony - who also created the dress worn by Taoiseach Bertie Ahern’s daughter Georgina when she tied the knot in 2003 with Westlife star Nicky Byrne.

The church had been freshly refurbished for the occasion – thanks to J.P’s generosity – with the interior redecorated, the pews freshly varnished, grounds landscaped and even roads resurfaced.

After the hour-long wedding service a fleet of limousines carried the wedding party back to the McManus mansion and the reception in that massive marquee.

The billionaire invited a large number of village neighbours to rub shoulders with celebrities from the worlds of sport and business at the reception.

So many helicopters were used to carry people into the grounds – well sealed off from prying media cameras – that it was said a temporary air traffic control unit was set up to ensure everyone’s safety.

The Corrs provided the post-banquet entertainment. The banquet itself had an unusual 'His' and 'Hers' menu drawn up with the help of Buckingham Palace party organisers.

Male and female guests enjoyed separate dishes for three of the four courses, though all were offered a fillet of beef for the main course – unless they were vegetarian or wanted fish.

The McManus family remained tight-lipped about the big day but local county councillor James Houlihan said there was huge excitement in the village over the wedding of Sue Ann to her Kerry-born sweetheart who works as an auctioneer in Limerick.

“The McManus family would be known as very generous people and its not the only time they have brought large numbers of locals together for a meal, though this is obviously a very special occasion,” said Mr Houlihan.

“The people of the area are delighted for them. They are very decent and their generosity is well-known, particularly to the disadvantaged.”

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