Sunday 24 September 2017

Rory McIlroy marries girlfriend Erica Stoll in lavish ceremony at Ashford Castle

Padraig Harrington and his wife Caroline leave Ashford Castle after attending the Rory McIlroy and Reica Stoll wedding. Picture credit; Damien Eagers
Padraig Harrington and his wife Caroline leave Ashford Castle after attending the Rory McIlroy and Reica Stoll wedding. Picture credit; Damien Eagers
Rory McIlroy's parents, Gerry and Rosie pictured leaving Ashford Castle, Cong Co. Mayo this afternoon after yesterday's wedding of Rory McIlroy and Erica Stoll. Picture credit; Damien Eagers
Rory McIlroy and Erica Stoll's taking place in Ashford Castle on Saturday
Erica Stoll and Rory McIlroy (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
Rory McIlroy and fiancee Erica Stoll Picture: Darren Kidd /Press Eye
Erica Stoll, fiancée of Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland watches during the first round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship at The Abu Dhabi Golf Club
Rory McIlroy and his fiancée Erica Stoll Photo: Reuters / Paul Childs
Bride to be Aiofe Power (centre white jeans) stops with her hen party outside Ashford Castle in Co Mayo, where Golf star Rory McIlroy and fiancee Erica Stoll are anticipated to get married. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo.
Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland arrives at the course with new girlfriend Erica Stoll during the fourth round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 31, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)
Erica Stoll with fiancé Rory McIlroy at the Ryder Cup
Rory McIlroy hopes he and fiancee Erica Stoll will start a family
Erica Stoll looks onduring the first round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at The K Club on May 19, 2016 in Straffan, . (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
Golfer Rory McIlroy and girlfriend Erica Stoll are pictured at the beach while on holiday in Barbados. Picture: PRIMADONNA/GEMAIRA/Splash News
Rory McIlroy and Erica Stoll at the Irish Youth Foundation Excellence in Sports Awards 2016. Picture: Cathal Burke / VIPIRELAND.COM
Rory McIlroy and fiancée Erica Stoll seen returning to The Wesbury Hotel after a stroll around Grafton Street
Rory McIlroy celebrates with Erica Stoll after winning the DP World Tour Golf Championship in Dubai
Erica Stoll and Rory McIlroy of Europe look on during afternoon fourball matches of the 2016 Ryder Cup at Hazeltine National Golf Club on October 1, 2016 in Chaska, Minnesota. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Rory McIlroy and Erica Stoll at the Excellence in Sports awards. Picture: Kieran Harnett
Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland poses alongside his girlfriend Erica Stoll and the FedExCup and TOUR Championship trophies after his victory over Ryan Moore with a birdie on the fourth extra hole during the TOUR Championship at East Lake Golf Club on September 25, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Rory McIlroy and Erica Stoll at the Irish Youth Foundation Excellence in Sports Awards 2016. Picture: Cathal Burke / VIPIRELAND.COM
Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

GOLFER Rory McIlroy has married his US girlfriend Erica Stoll in a lavish ceremony at a 13th Century Irish castle.

Tight security marked the wedding of the 27 year old Down born golfer and his 29 year old fiancée as both insisted they wanted the evening celebration to be strictly private.

More than 200 guests are attending the sumptuous wedding at the 350 acre estate.

Amongst the celebrities in attendance are Ryder Cup golfers Sergio Garcia, Paul McGinley, Martin Kaymer and Shane Lowry.

Bride to be Aiofe Power (centre white jeans) stops with her hen party outside Ashford Castle in Co Mayo, where Golf star Rory McIlroy and fiancee Erica Stoll are anticipated to get married. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo.
Bride to be Aiofe Power (centre white jeans) stops with her hen party outside Ashford Castle in Co Mayo, where Golf star Rory McIlroy and fiancee Erica Stoll are anticipated to get married. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo.

Mr McIlroy's good friend, One Direction star Niall Horan, was also in attendance.

It is reported that actor and 'Forty Shades of Grey' star Jamie Dornan will also attend.

Pop star Ed Sheeran is tipped to attend the post-wedding celebrations tomorrow due to concert commitments today.

The world of business was represented by Limerick billionaire JP McManus.

Music will be provided later tonight by US pop and soul legend, Stevie Wonder (66), who was specially flown in to Mayo for the event.

The star will be supported by a full orchestra for his performance.

The lavish gourmet wedding menu is being supervised by Ashford Castle executive chef Philippe Farineau.

Over the past 48 hours, a fleet of limousines, jeeps and helicopters swept into Cong in preparation for Ireland's celebrity wedding of the decade.

Dozens of locals gathered outside the main entrance gate to Ashford Castle today hoping to catch a glimpse of the celebrities.

Erica was even offered best wishes and a little advice as Limerick-born teacher, Aoife Power, posed for photos outside the Ashford Castle gates with her hen party.

Aoife, who teaches in Lucan in Dublin, will marry Ian Barron on June 16.

"I just want to wish Rory and Erica the very best," the Castletroy native said.

One of her hen party friends also offered a little marital advice to the New York-born bride.

"Keep the dinner cooked and the kitchen clean," she laughed.

At one point, more than a dozen cheering One Direction fans also gathered hoping to meet Niall Horan.

The wedding will also feature a major fireworks display later this evening.

Locals admitted they were thrilled with the focus on the picturesque village.

"It is great for Cong, great for Mayo and great for the West of Ireland," admitted Aisling Butler who runs 'The Hungry Monk' cafe with Jonathan Byrne.

"Everyone is keeping their eyes peeled for a celebrity - and, to mark the occasion, I was was even thinking of selling golf balls in the cafe with morning coffee."

Aisling's cafe is already a popular haunt with Irish celebrities with regular visitors including Daniel O'Donnell, The Hardy Bucks, Pipp O'Connor and Connacht rugby stars.

Local man Paddy Rock, who founded the Cong Hands of Fame Award, said the golfer's contribution to the area is such that he is now being invited to immortalise himself by having his hand imprint set in bronze on the monument.

Locals raced for their cameras as a vintage but empty wedding car - with the fitting license plate '2R1' - drove through the town towards Ashford Castle.

Mr McIlroy's management team have worked overtime to ensure the wedding details remained top secret from the large media entourage which has descended on Cong.

Read more: Erica Stoll: How this American girl next door stole Rory McIlroy's heart  

The castle went into full security lock-down yesterday morning as the last of the non-wedding guests left.

Special security wristbands were issued to allow access to the 350 acre estate until Monday morning when the wedding party formally ends.

Three separate layers of security were in place around the estate including perimeter patrols.

Mr McIlroy's personal security chief, Brian Murphy, who also works with U2, was supervising arrangements at the castle perimeter.

Staff at Ashford Castle have been issued with green wristbands - while other colours will designate wedding organising staff, security and entertainers.

A large marquee was erected outside the castle though the majority of the wedding ceremonies will happen inside the huge luxury hotel.

The lavish four day wedding celebration is understood to cost between €250,000 and €500,000 - with Ashford Castle and virtually all hotels and guest houses in nearby Cong block booked for the wedding.

Wedding guests arriving early at the main Ashford Castle entrance were greeted by a staff member in formal attire including butler's hat.

The majority of guests flew into Shannon and Knock Airports and were transferred by limousine to Cong.

A small army of caterers and wedding planners - most of whom are staying at Ryan's Hotel in Cong village - were hard at work for Saturday's ceremony.

Even teams of street cleaners were working to have all approach routes to Ashford Castle spotless.

The wedding party travelled to Cong village on Wednesday.

Online Editors

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