Captain, My Captain: Dubs star Bryan Cullen weds sprinter Ailis McSweeney on New Year's Day
Published 02/01/2013 | 05:00
DUBLIN football captain Bryan Cullen rang in the new year by marrying his sprint-star sweetheart Ailis McSweeney at a festive ceremony.
The 28-year-old footballer exchanged vows with Ailis – who holds the Irish 100 metre sprint record – in her home village of Carrigtwohill, Co Cork, in front of more than 150 guests.
The glamorous couple and well-known sporting guests brought the village to a standstill yesterday afternoon.
The pair were together for eight years before Bryan popped the question last May.
Many of the guests travelled from Dublin to Cork on New Year's Eve and welcomed in 2013 in the Fota Island Hotel, where the wedding reception was held.
The groom – who wore a black suit with a white shirt and white tie – was flanked by several members of the 2011 All-Ireland winning Dublin team in St Mary's Church. GAA player guests included Bernard and Alan Brogan, goalkeeper Stephen Cluxton, Barry Cahill, Paul Griffin and Denis Bastick.
Ailis kept him waiting at the altar for 20 minutes before arriving in a stunning lace-over-satin wedding dress and bridal bouquet of red "grand prix" roses.
The bride was given away by her proud father Eamon.
Another former Dublin player, Tomas Quinn, read a prayer of the faithful, rugby player Conal Keane – from Skerries – was a groomsman, while former Dubs manager Pat Gilroy also attended the ceremony.
Olympic hurdler Derval O'Rourke was also among the guests along with fiance and fellow Olympian, sailor Peter O'Leary. The couple – who are both from Cork and have been going out for four years after meeting on the plane on the way home from the Beijing Olympics – got engaged last month.
The groom famously invited jubilant Dubs to one of the city's liveliest nightspots with his "see yis in Coppers" sign-off in his All-Ireland winning speech in 2011.
However, the couple opted for the more sedate surroundings of the Fota Island Hotel and Golf Resort, two miles from Carrigtwohill, for the reception.
The five-star hotel previously hosted Munster rugby star Ronan O'Gara's wedding.
The Dublin captain's bride Ailis is currently on a year out from her job as a solicitor to focus on training for the World Athletics Championships later this year in Moscow.
She trains at University College Cork's Mardyke Sports Facility.