McManus guests told: ‘No pressies please’

THE 1,500 guests who will attend the lavish wedding of JP McManus’s only daughter Sue Ann next Saturday have been told “no presents please”.

She and her husband-to-be, Cian Foley, have got just got one present — a €4.5 million, 145-acre farm in Grange, Kilmallock, courtesy of JP and his wife Noreen.

As hundreds of workers yesterday put the final touches to a vast tented reception area, locals around Martinstown reckon JP McManus’s €100m mansion could easily fit into the cavernous marquee erected nearby.

One observed: “It’s like a hangar for a jumbo jet.”

Gargantuan quantities of food and drink are being brought in for the bash of the year, which gets under way at 6pm on Saturday.

The wedding ceremony will take place two hours earlier in nearby Martinstown Parish church, which can seat about 300.

The church has been given a makeover and the grounds are being landscaped with magnificent floral arrangements.

Parish priest Fr Gerard McNamara will officiate at the church ceremony and only relatives and close friends will attend.

The McManus wedding plans are being managed by London event organisers, Fait Accompli, who regularly look after garden parties at Buckingham Palace and other big royal events.

Limerick-based Master Chefs will deploy a team of more than 50 chefs and they will begin preparing food tomorrow.

Photographers will be able to take pictures of the couple arriving and leaving Martinstown church, but there will be strict security to ensure that Irish-style paparazzi don’t try and gate-crash the reception, where the Corrs will be the lead after-dinner act.

Meanwhile, inside the McManus mansion, French and Italian craftsmen are putting the final touches to the marble flooring and staircases and the family expect to be able to move in some time in September.

While the rich and famous will gather in their hundreds, local man Denis Martin was yesterday making sure that a local great of the past will also be looking his best outside the church on Saturday.

Denis is a member of the local committee that erected a magnificent bronze statue six years ago to triple Olympic gold medallist John Flanagan at the church entrance.

Representing the US, Flanagan won the 16-pound hammer-throwing event at the Olympics in 1900, 1904 and 1908.

Denis said: “I come around once a year to give the lettering a coat of gold paint. John Flanagan worked as a New York policeman and came home every summer to help his father save the hay. Before he emigrated, he helped Bruree win the county senior hurling championship in 1893 and Bruree didn’t win it again until last year.”

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