Johnny Healy-Rae, who followed his grandfather, father and uncle into politics when he was co-opted to Kerry County Council last year, exchanged nuptial vows with Caroline O’Mahony in the Holy Cross Church in Kenmare, with Fr Kevin McNamara and Fr Donal O’Neill presiding.
More than 800 guests later celebrated with the newlyweds at a lavish reception in the Gleneagle Hotel in Killarney. It was one of the biggest crowds at any wedding ever held in the county.
The son of Councillor Danny and Eileen Healy-Rae and the eldest in a family of six, Johnny, 27, works in the family plant hire and farming business.
The bride, daughter of Jeffrey and Bridget O’Mahony, from the south Kerry parish of Templenoe, works with financial services company Fexco in Killorglin.
The couple had been going out together since secondary school.
The groom’s uncle, Independent TD Michael Healy-Rae, described the celebration as the best possible preparation for a new year.
“It was an absolutely brilliant day and the party is still continuing in Kilgarvan,” he said yesterday.
“Everybody was talking about the wonderful food and the first class service, which couldn’t have been an easy task when you had 800 or 900 people sitting down to a meal at the same time,” he said.
One of the highlights of the day for the huge gathering was the after -dinner speech delivered by the groom’s grandfather, Jackie Healy-Rae, with the 81-year-old retired TD wishing the newlyweds well in his inimitable style.