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Match made in heaven as Dubs hero Bryan to wed sprinter Ailis

THE worlds of athletics and GAA will collide this festive season as two of Ireland's biggest sporting names tie the knot in an intimate wedding ceremony.

Sprinter and TV pundit Ailis McSweeney (29) will walk down the aisle with her long-term partner, Dublin captain Bryan Cullen (28), on New Year's Day.

The wedding will take place in Ailis's native Cork with a reception afterwards at the scenic Fota Island Resort.


Ailis's close friend and fellow sprinter Derval O'Rourke will most likely be in attendance, as will the groom's Dublin teammates.

The couple, who live together in Dublin, will wed in Ailis's native Cork and the bride-to-be is looking forward to it.

"The preparations have been really fun so far -- it's like organising a big party with a nice ceremony to go with it."

And the petite athlete, who currently holds the female Irish record for 100m, revealed that it was Bryan's idea to get married sooner rather than later.

"Bryan was the one who was really anxious, saying, 'sure there's no point in waiting'.

"Between athletics and football, January or October are the only months we have free to get married. If it wasn't this January, it would have to be next October," Ailis told VIP magazine.

Questions have already begun about whether the fit couple will produce Ireland's next big athlete.

For now, though, Ailis is training hard for the European Championships in March -- however, she admits that the pair of them have discussed children.

"I think that's a conversation for a bit down the line! But Bryan does joke that if they get my skill level and his speed, then there is the potential for it all to go wrong."

Ailis has been with the Dublin captain for eight years.

The footballer finally bit the bullet and popped the question last May when the athlete got back from a training camp in Portugal.