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Love blooms for cycling couple who will marry on Bloomsday

It's a wedding like no other for Bloomsday enthusiasts and cycling fanatics Alfreda O'Brien and Ciaran Kavanagh.

The couple will tie the knot immediately after taking part in the annual Brennan's Bloomsday Bike Rally on June 14.

And it's set to be a day filled with messenger bikes, bars of Molly Malone and boaters.

They will spend two and a half hours cycling around Dublin in Edwardian garb before hot-footing it to City Hall to get hitched.

The couple will also sing classic ditties such as Molly Malone outside the Lord Mayor's house.

According to the bride-to-be cycling around the city at break-neck speed is the perfect way to steady pre-wedding nerves.

"It's great way to get rid of the jitters," said Alfreda. "I'll have no time to be anxious."

Alfreda and Ciaran (both 43) met four years ago at a charity raffle in the Gravedigger's Pub, where Ciaran works.

"I won a prize and he came over and started talking to me in Italian," she said. "My family are Italian, so I think he was trying to impress me. I was just very suspicious of him.

"But we started talking and he's very attractive and next thing I knew I was sending him homemade limoncello and biscotti."

And it wasn't long before they were both taking part in the annual bike rally.


"Bloomsday has always been a big deal in my house. My grandfather Giuseppe lived in Trieste and met Joyce," she said. "He didn't like him much, but he did like his tweed jackets.

"We just thought it would be the perfect time to get married. It's for a good cause – the Irish Youth Foundation – and we'll be surrounded by happy people who love dressing up. An ideal wedding crowd."

Alfreda will make a last-minute stop before heading to City Hall. "I'll stop off at the Shelbourne and change into another Edwardian dress. I have more costume changes than Diana Ross," she said.