Ryanair heiress Danielle Ryan in flying form on her €100k wedding day
Danielle Ryan's wedding to husband Richard Bourke in London was a high-class affair, writes Shane Hickey
THIS was definitely one journey which had all the frills. The multi-millionaire grand-daughter of Ryanair founder Tony Ryan walked down the aisle yesterday to start a day of celebrations which were far removed from the frugal policy the budget airline that bears the family name has come to be famous for.
Actress Danielle Ryan, the daughter of Cathal Ryan, yesterday married Richard Bourke in the heart of upmarket London, just a few hundred yards from the Harrods department store in London's famous Brompton Oratory.
Some 270 people were invited to the nuptials, the bill for which is thought to have exceeded €100,000 after the guests dined in the Royal Opera House and then followed on with an after-party in Chinawhite, a well-known celebrity hang-out.
Ms Ryan, an actress who has appeared in The Tudors, is one of four children of Cathal Ryan, who died in 2007 following a battle with cancer, leaving an estate valued at €250m.
Her upmarket country estate, Stackumny House near Celbridge, Co Kildare, which boasts a luxurious interior, including a library, theatre, swimming pool complex and a pub called 'Ryan's Snug', is currently for sale for €6.5m.
"It was my father's house, he picked it. I grew up here and loved it but we're just about to get married and want to create our own legacy," she said recently.
Turning normal wedding convention on its head the glittering bride arrived comfortably early for the ceremony in the imposing Catholic Oratory in Kensington, one of the most wealthy areas of the city.
Wearing a vintage ivory lace gown with a split up the front and a lengthy train, she was accompanied by three bridesmaids and a flower girl before she entered through imposing 25ft high wooden doors and walked alone up the aisle at the beginning of the ceremony celebrated by Fr Enda McDonagh.
The 19th century venue is steeped in history and is the second largest Catholic church in London, with the width of its central approach exceeding even St Paul's Cathedral.
Just over an hour later the pair emerged married to cheers from the congregation and well wishes from the small crowd of on-lookers outside.
Her new husband Richard Bourke, a general practice barrister, is also connected to prominent figures in Irish society through his aunt, former president Mary Robinson.
After sweeping the floral confetti from their hair and clothes, the happy pair departed from the prestigious church to go to the Paul Hamlyn Hall in the Royal Opera House, which hosts only two weddings a year due to the pressures of performances, in a vintage Bentley.
Danielle's screen credits also include appearances BBC drama Casualty, amongst others. However it is her work in the industry off screen which she has become better known for of late.
The RADA-trained actor is a director of the National Academy of Dramatic Art at Trinity College Dublin which trains actors, designers, directors, playwrights, stage managers and theatre technicians.
There was a strong thespian element amongst the guests yesterday with Ed Kemp, the director of RADA, Professor Brian Fingleton, the head of drama in Trinity, and Michael Colgan, director of the Gate Theatre, all in attendance at the wedding.
Also there was Declan Ryan, Danielle's uncle and one of Tony Ryan's three sons, and Caroline Kennedy, a well-known figure in the public relations industry.
The sudden death of her father Cathal Ryan from cancer in 2007, just months after her grandfather Tony Ryan passed away, was a particularly difficult time for the aviation family.
Cathal was a pilot by training and died leaving her his country estate and a share of his fortune which came from Ryanair and his father's previous company GPA.
Her other uncle, Shane, the youngest of the three Ryan brothers, inherited much of his father's racing interests in Kentucky.
The happy newlyweds spend a lot of time in London where Ms Ryan is renovating an 18th century property in Westminster in Central London.
She recently spoke of how she was sad to be selling the family home but that they are no longer there as much as previously.
Danielle's Sri Lankan mother is Tess de Kretzer and she has an older brother, Cillian, as well as two half-siblings.
One of the bridesmaids at the wedding was Claudia Rocca Ryan, the daughter of Cathal Ryan and former model Michelle Rocca.