A GROOM was robbed at gunpoint on the morning of his wedding in his hotel room, the Herald can reveal.
Husband-to-be Richard Moore was threatened with his life by an armed and masked gang just hours before he was due to walk down the aisle.
His iPad, Blackberry, laptop and wallet were taken in the robbery and two guests had their cars robbed by the gang who had broken into Carlow's Killerig Resort Hotel.
Brave Richard Moore refused to let the ordeal spoil the big day and he and his bride Margot tied the knot as planned.
The groom, who is in his 30s, opened the door of his hotel lodge as his wedding day dawned and was confronted by the gunman.
A gang had burgled three lodges on the grounds of the resort. They were preparing to steal two cars belonging to wedding guests when they were interrupted by the groom.
Richard and Margot had travelled from England to get married at the Co Carlow hotel.
Several guests had also come from Britain and were staying in lodges in the hotel grounds.
Mr Moore woke early on Friday of last week and went downstairs to get a drink of water at around 5.45am.
He noticed that a guest's car parked outside had its lights on.
When he opened the door of his lodge, he was confronted by a masked man who pushed a gun into his face and told him to "back off".
The gang then drove off in two English-registered cars -- a white Mitsubishi Warrior SUV and a Ford Galaxy people carrier -- stolen from wedding guests.
Garda Superintendent Gerry Redmond said the gang had popped the door locks of three lodges and stolen electronic items. One lodge was the groom's; he slept as the gang stole his laptop, wallet, Blackberry phone, iPad and keys of a vehicle.
Hotel manager Larry Bowe and his staff rallied around to give the wedding party as much support as possible.
The couple decided to go ahead with their civil wedding ceremony planned for later that day in the hotel.
When an usher at the wedding said he was too distressed to fulfil his role, Mr Bowe came to the couple's aid and became an usher at the wedding.
He also agreed to become a last-minute substitute as MC at the wedding meal.
"I just did what was needed to be done. Everything was kept nice and calm," he said last night. Wedding guests were moved into rooms in the hotel and the couple decided to remain on at the resort until last Monday.
But Mr Bowe insisted they take an extra couple of days.
The couple finally left on Wednesday, leaving behind a 'lovely thank you card' for staff.
"They are a really lovely couple. They have stayed at the hotel five or six times. They just fell in love with the hotel and decided to get married here," said Mr Bowe.
Superintendent Gerry Redmond said the Mitsubishi jeep was found in the region the day after the robbery but the Ford Galaxy remained missing.
He said the stolen Ford Galaxy was seen just 15 minutes after the raid in nearby Castledermot where three occupants were seen in the car.
A silver-coloured Toyota car was seen with the Galaxy in the town. He appealed to the public to contact gardai in Carlow at 059 9131505.