Tuesday 31 May 2016

Honeymoon much sweeter after four-year wait

Published 28/08/2014 | 02:30

Walter Mackey and Noreen Phelan
Walter Mackey and Noreen Phelan

Four years after they got married, a Kilkenny-based couple finally got to go on honeymoon thanks to the National Lottery.

Hairdresser Noreen Phelan broke her arm two weeks before her wedding to barber Walter Mackey.

They went ahead with the wedding but their planned honeymoon to New York had to be called off, costing the couple €6,000.

Now the National Lottery has treated them to an all-expenses trip to San Francisco on America's west coast.

"This is the honeymoon we never had," they said.

It was the first trip to the US for Walter. He and Noreen have a three-year-old daughter, Charlotte.

The couple have a salon in Kilkenny, and Noreen teaches hairdressing in the Waterford College of Further Education.

The once-in-a-lifetime trip saw 44 winners from the Winning Streak TV Gameshow and their guests stay at the exclusive Fairmont Hotel on Nob Hill, which recently hosted US President Barack Obama.

The winners had a lucky escape from an earthquake which caused their San Francisco hotel to shake in the early hours, but it's epicentre was a few miles away.

Trainee teacher Michelle Brett, from Co Sligo, took her mother Rita on the trip

Michelle (20) is going in to her second year in St Patrick's College in Drumcondra, Dublin.

She was born in New York where her father and mother worked. But she has been in Sligo since she was four.

"It is very funny when you arrive into US passport control and they say 'welcome home'," she said.

Irish Independent

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