Wedding of the Week: An uncle's gift provides many reasons for Limerick's Sarah and Brian to celebrate

The groom's uncle donated a kidney to him eight years prior 
Wedding of the Week: An uncle's gift provides many reasons for Limerick's Sarah and Brian to celebrate

Sarah Reidy and Brian Sheehy. Pictures: Photos by Lizzie

County Limerick couple Sarah Reidy and Brian Sheehy had many reasons to celebrate when they exchanged vows this summer.

Sarah, from Ardagh, and Brian, from Athea, welcomed the groom’s uncle Mike Sheehy as an extra special guest, along with his daughter Rosie.

Mike gave the couple the best wedding present ever — having donated a kidney to Brian eight years before.

Mike Sheehy with his nephew Brian Sheehy during this year's Organ Donor Awareness Week earlier this year.
Mike Sheehy with his nephew Brian Sheehy during this year's Organ Donor Awareness Week earlier this year.

They were married on Saturday, June 4, in the bride’s parish church St Molua’s, Ardagh, Co Limerick, by Fr Chris O’Donnell, parish priest, Kilmallock.

“I’m feeling on top of the world now and I have Mike to thank for it. The transplant has given me my life back. It allowed me to go back to work, save for a house with Sarah, plan ahead, and play an active role in my daughter’s life,” says Brian.

The bride and groom and their wedding party posed at the nearby tourist attraction the Limerick Greenway, in Ardagh, for their photographer and videographer, Lizzie Murphy of Photos by Lizzie, before re-joining their guests at the reception, in The Devon Inn Hotel Templeglantine, Co Limerick.

“My mom, Margaret, along with Brian’s parents, Dick and Maggie, were among those present on the day,” says the bride.

Sarah Reidy and Brian Sheehy with their wedding party. Pictures: Photos by Lizzie
Sarah Reidy and Brian Sheehy with their wedding party. Pictures: Photos by Lizzie

Sarah chose her cousin, Shirley O’Hanlon, to be her chief bridesmaid while her sister-in-law Lorraine Griffin was a bridesmaid along with her friend, Liz Gleeson, and the couple’s daughter Kayla Sheehy.

Brian’s cousin, Padraig Horgan, lent his support as best man while his brother JJ Sheehy was groomsman along with his cousin, Sonny Sheehan.

Taking centre stage as flowergirls and pageboy respectively were the bride’s nieces and nephew, Leah Reidy, Sadie Tierney and Gerri Mai Tierney and Cian Reidy.

Sarah and Brian’s paths first crossed in Horan’s nightclub during their student days in Tralee.

“We welcomed baby Kayla a few years later,” says Sarah.

Kayla, along with the bride’s parents Margaret and Pat, were there to congratulate the couple when they got engaged in Spain, three years ago.

Sarah Reidy and Brian Sheehy with Kayla Sheehy. Pictures: Photos by Lizzie
Sarah Reidy and Brian Sheehy with Kayla Sheehy. Pictures: Photos by Lizzie

“Brian proposed on the beach in Torremolinos while we were on a family holiday,” says Sarah.

Their wedding day was “full of mixed emotions”, she adds.

“My dad Pat passed away in November last year and Brian’s brother, Pa, in 2005. We lit candles in their memory during the ceremony and raised a glass to those gone but not forgotten.”

Brian’s operation in 2014 was his second kidney transplant following almost three years of dialysis.

Nine years earlier, his late brother Pa was just 18 years old when he became an organ donor saving six lives following a tragic road traffic collision. Brian was just 16 at the time.

It was bittersweet for the Sheehy family when a month later, in September 2005, Brian received his first kidney transplant made possible by the decision of another family of a deceased organ donor, in whose memory the newlyweds also lit a candle.

Brian Sheehy and his uncle Mike Sheehy in Beaumont Hospital after their living donor kidney transplant in 2014.
Brian Sheehy and his uncle Mike Sheehy in Beaumont Hospital after their living donor kidney transplant in 2014.

The bride and groom will always remember their new godson Ryan’s birthday as it will be their wedding anniversary.

“Brian’s sister Carla went into labour the night before the wedding and had a beautiful baby boy, Ryan, before the ceremony began,” says Sarah. 

“She joined in and watched through Zoom on the day. The excitement made the day so special.”

Sarah Reidy with Kayla Sheehy Shirley O’Hanlon and Lorraine Griffin and Liz Gleeson. Pictures: Photos by Lizzie
Sarah Reidy with Kayla Sheehy Shirley O’Hanlon and Lorraine Griffin and Liz Gleeson. Pictures: Photos by Lizzie

Sarah sourced her dream wedding dress in Finesse Bridalwear, Listowel, Co Kerry, with her friend, Kathy Herbert, as hairstylist and makeup artist Ber Stokes ensured the look was camera-ready also. Tie the Knot, Abbeyfeale, Co Limerick, created the floral arrangements. Scanlan’s Menswear, Newcastlewest, Co Limerick, ensured the groom and his party looked dapper.

Sarah is a sales and marketing assistant at Profile Developments and Brian is a clerical officer at Limerick City and County Council.

The newlyweds, who honeymooned in Portugal, live in Athea.

  • Organ Donor Cards can be requested by visiting the IKA website www.ika.ie/get-a-donor-card or to your phone, phoning the Irish Kidney Association on 01-6205306 or Free text the word DONOR to 50050
  • If you would like your wedding featured, email eve.kelliher@examiner.ie

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