Wedding of the Week: 10,000 miles away a GAA pitch meeting leads to love

Gillian from Mayfield met Paul from County Down in Sydney and they got engaged on Christmas morning
Wedding of the Week: 10,000 miles away a GAA pitch meeting leads to love

Gillian McCarthy and Paul Keith with Laura Dennehy, Elaine Condon, Maria Punch, Sarah Fogarty, Stephen Keith, Liam Crean, Aidan Clarke and Brian Bell. Pictures: Dermot Sullivan

Their love for sport ensured Gillian McCarthy and Paul Keith met on a GAA pitch — at the other side of the world.

Gillian, from Mayfield, Cork, and Paul, from Ballycran, County Down, first laid eyes on one another in Australia eight years ago.

“We met in Sydney in 2014 as we both played for the same team, Central Coast GAA in Sydney,” says Gillian. “Paul played hurling and I played Gaelic football. Through various bonding events, matches and nights out, we became friends.” Six years later, Paul popped the question, on Christmas morning, overlooking Sydney Harbour and Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Gillian McCarthy and Paul Keith first met in Australia
Gillian McCarthy and Paul Keith first met in Australia

“We planned to go watch the sunrise at Bradleys Head viewing point,” says Gillian. “We got up at 4.30am and although the weather was wet and miserable, we still decided to go. Just as we were getting up to leave, Paul dropped to one knee. After numerous phone calls home, we shared Christmas Day with our friends in Sydney. We always spend Christmas together as we are so far away from home so it was great to be able to celebrate with them for the rest of the day.” 

Gillian McCarthy and Paul Keith were married at Our Lady Crowned Church in Mayfield by Fr George Agger
Gillian McCarthy and Paul Keith were married at Our Lady Crowned Church in Mayfield by Fr George Agger

And they were with them in person as the couple were married in Our Lady Crowned Church, Mayfield in June by Fr George Agger and held their reception in Fota Island Resort.

“Our big day was a great day full of reunions with friends and family we had not seen for years,” says the bride.

“We had friends from all over the country that we had met abroad and also friends currently living in Sydney who had returned for our special day.

Gillian McCarthy and Paul Keith had their wedding reception at Fota Island Resort
Gillian McCarthy and Paul Keith had their wedding reception at Fota Island Resort

“Everyone spent the day laughing, dancing and catching up with friends old and new. Paul’s family and friends travelled from County Down so it was amazing to have all of them there.” 

Gillian McCarthy, Laura Dennehy, Elaine Condon, Maria Punch and Sarah Fogarty
Gillian McCarthy, Laura Dennehy, Elaine Condon, Maria Punch and Sarah Fogarty

Laura Dennehy, Elaine Condon, Maria Punch and Sarah Fogarty were by Gillian’s side as her chief bridesmaid and bridesmaids while Stephen Keith was the best man, with Liam Crean, Aidan Clarke and Brian Bell as groomsmen.

Gillian looked super-elegant in an Enzoani dress she bought in Diamond Bridal, Cork, and the groom and his party were dapper in suits by Reds Menswear, Belfast.

Paul Keith with Stephen Keith, Liam Crean, Aidan Clarke and Brian Bell
Paul Keith with Stephen Keith, Liam Crean, Aidan Clarke and Brian Bell

Susie the Hairstylist created the bridal hairstyling while the makeup was by Naoise Galvin.

Dermot Sullivan, wedding photographer, and Greg Mulcahy, videographer, captured the occasion on camera, and Florist4u, Cork, created the floral arrangements.

Gillian McCarthy and Paul Keith's floral arrangements are by Florist4U in Cork
Gillian McCarthy and Paul Keith's floral arrangements are by Florist4U in Cork

The newlyweds are based in Sydney and chose Santorini, Greece as their minimoon destination. “The ideal honeymoon is to the Maldives at some stage,” says the bride.

Gillian is a nurse and Paul works in construction.

Gillian McCarthy and Paul Keith first met in Sydney in 2014 as they both played for the same team, Central Coast GAA: Paul played hurling and Gillian played Gaelic football
Gillian McCarthy and Paul Keith first met in Sydney in 2014 as they both played for the same team, Central Coast GAA: Paul played hurling and Gillian played Gaelic football

  • If you would like your wedding featured, email eve.kelliher@examiner.ie

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