Wedding crasher Bill Clinton lights up couple's big day

Newlyweds Kelly and Patrick Howard with former US President Bill Clinton at the Castlemartyr Resort in east Cork

Ralph Riegel

HE'S arguably the most famous wedding crasher in history. And former US President Bill Clinton helped make the marriage celebrations of an Irish-American couple extra special at the weekend.

Mr Clinton was here as a guest of an Irish-American philanthropy group last Friday, and attended a gala dinner in east Cork as well as playing a round of golf at the Old Head of Kinsale.

But he also took time out to pose for photographs with a beaming bride and groom.

Mr Clinton was staying at the plush Castlemartyr Resort -- which Pat Howard and Kelly Seamans had booked for their wedding reception months earlier.

Mr Howard, who is from Killavullen in north Cork, met Ms Seamans, who is from Minneapolis in the US, when they were both studying at University College Cork.

They were astonished when Mr Clinton strolled over and introduced himself, had a chat and then offered to stand in for a special wedding snap.

"I thanked him for all he did for the Peace Process and for being such a friend of Ireland," said Mr Howard.

Ms Seamans admitted that having a US president in her wedding photos was extra special given that she is American.

"That is one photo that is definitely going into the album -- it is a memory that will last us forever," Mr Howard said.