Wednesday 22 November 2017

Rugby legend meets his match

Paul's bride impresses French with chic style

Newly weds Rugby legend Paul O'Connell and Emily O'Leary after their wedding at Sainte Marie, Cathedral in Auch, South France.
Pic:Mark Condren
27.7.2013
Newly weds Rugby legend Paul O'Connell and Emily O'Leary after their wedding at Sainte Marie, Cathedral in Auch, South France. Pic:Mark Condren 27.7.2013
Newly weds Rugby legend Paul O'Connell and Emily O'Leary after their wedding at Sainte Marie, Cathedral in Auch, South France. Pic:Mark Condren 27.7.2013
Newly weds Rugby legend Paul O'Connell and Emily O'Leary after their wedding at Sainte Marie, Cathedral in Auch, South France. Pic:Mark Condren 27.7.2013
Newly weds Rugby legend Paul O'Connell and Emily O'Leary after their wedding at Sainte Marie, Cathedral in Auch, South France. Pic:Mark Condren 27.7.2013
Newly weds Rugby legend Paul O'Connell and Emily O'Leary after their wedding at Sainte Marie, Cathedral in Auch, South France. Pic:Mark Condren 27.7.2013
Newly weds Rugby legend Paul O'Connell and Emily O'Leary after their wedding at Sainte Marie, Cathedral in Auch, South France. Pic:Mark Condren 27.7.2013
Newly weds Rugby legend Paul O'Connell and Emily O'Leary after their wedding at Sainte Marie, Cathedral in Auch, South France. pictured with Donacha O'Callaghan Pic:Mark Condren 27.7.2013
Bridesmaids Stephanie O'Leary at the wedding in South France Pic:Mark Condren 27.7.2013
Newly weds Rugby legend Paul O'Connell and Emily O'Leary after their wedding at Sainte Marie, Cathedral in Auch, South France. Pic:Mark Condren 27.7.2013
IN THE LINE-OUT: the happy couple.
Bride Emily O'Leary arrives with her father Pat for her wedding to rugby legend Paul O'Connell at Sainte Marie, Cathedral in Auch, South France. Pic:Mark Condren 27.7.2013
Rugby legend Paul O'Connell arriving for his wedding with his brother and best man Mark at Sainte Marie, Cathedral in Auch, South France. Pic:Mark Condren 27.7.2013
Rory Best and his Partner at the wedding of Paul O'Connell and Emily O'Leary in Sainte Marie, Cathedral in Auch, South France. Pic:Mark Condren 27.7.2013
Mick Galwey and Frankie Sheahan at the wedding of Paul O'Connell and Emily O'Leary in Sainte Marie, Cathedral in Auch, South France. Pic:Mark Condren 27.7.2013
(centre) Munsters Chief Niall O'Donovan at Paul O@Connells wedding in France Pic:Mark Condren 27.7.2013
J.P. McManus and his wife Noreen at the wedding of Paul O'Connell and Emily O'Leary in Sainte Marie, Cathedral in Auch, South France. Pic:Mark Condren 27.7.2013
Bride Emily O'Leary arrives with her father Pat for her wedding to rugby legend Paul O'Connell at Sainte Marie, Cathedral in Auch, South France. In front of picture is Paul and Emily's son Paddy (3) Pic:Mark Condren 27.7.2013
IN THE LINE-OUT: Paul and Emily's son Paddy.
IN THE LINE-OUT: Clockwise from top left, the happy couple, Ronan O'Gara and wife Jessica, JP McManus and wife Noreen, Paul and Emily's son Paddy. Photos: Mark Condren Ronan O'Gara and his wife Jessica at the wedding to rugby legend Paul O'Connell at Sainte Marie, Cathedral in Auch, South France. Pic:Mark Condren 27.7.2013
IN THE LINE-OUT: JP McManus and wife Noreen.
Ronan O'Gara and his wife Jessica arriving for the wedding to rugby legend Paul O'Connell at Sainte Marie, Cathedral in Auch, South France. Pic:Mark Condren 27.7.2013
Tricolours outside the town hal
Workers in Sainte Marie Cathedral in Auch, France
Chateau Lartigolle
Getting flowers ready at Sainte Marie Cathedral in Auch, South France for the wedding of Rugby legend Paul O'Connel to Emily O'Leary. Pic:Mark Condren 26.7.2013
Paul O'Connell and Emily O'Leary after the couple's engagement

Nicola Anderson in Auch, France

IT takes a lot to impress French women when it comes to style – but new rugby bride Emily O'Leary swept them all away at her wedding to 'giant' Paul O'Connell.

There were approving "oohs" of "tres belle" as Emma arrived in a sweeping gown of white chantilly lace, with a draped back and small train and a headdress of white flowers and feathers.

"I'm happy – very happy," said Paul afterwards, as he kissed his bride. "It's a great day and we're really looking forward to the rest of it."

The guest list was a veritable Who's Who of Irish rugby.

Ronan O'Gara and his wife Jessica were first to arrive, along with Donncha O'Callaghan and his pregnant wife Jenny.

Legendary Ireland kitman Paddy 'Rala' O'Reilly was next to arrive, as well as Alan Quinlan, chatting away to business magnate JP McManus.

Keith Wood and Peter Clohessy were flanked by fellow former greats Frankie Sheahan and Anthony Horgan.

"I was afraid to put on my shirt," joked Keith as the sun blazed overhead.

Munster chief Niall O'Donovan arrived at the cathedral with former Ireland internationals Barry Murphy and Jerry Flannery.

Munster coach Rob Penny and former Lions player David Wallace and current Irish scrum-half Eoin Reddan were also there, with retired international Mick O'Driscoll. Perhaps a touch more than is fashionably late, Emily arrived with her father Pat in a vintage Renault car.

Her bridesmaids, wearing mint floral print dresses, were her sisters, Stephanie and Danielle, and best friend Lorraine Murray. Her flower girls in pink were Paul's nieces, Julie and Rachel O'Connell and Jessica Collins.

Paul had arrived earlier, with best man, his brother Marcus, and groomsmen, his brother Justin and Paul, Emily's brother.

"You couldn't miss him," said the Irish holidaymakers, as they pointed them out to members of the local French media who had gathered for this occasion.

Guests were later bussed to the stunning Chateau Lartigolle, in nearby Pessan, for a stylish reception, billed as 'French country with a cosmopolitan twist', were they enjoyed a banquet 'en plein air' of local seasonal produce such as canapes, local foie gras with fig chutney, pan-fried duck breast and fennel bisque or warm wild mushroom tartlets.

But a spectacular spit-roast was the centre piece of the feast. The bride and groom later fed one another with the top two choux buns, in line with local custom.

Sunday Independent

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