Shane Lowry on Rory McIlroy's wedding: 'Erica's not into being out there - so fair play to them for keeping it private'
Shane Lowry has applauded Rory McIlroy and Erica Stoll for keeping their wedding a private affair.
While the Irish golfer skipped the high-profile wedding last weekend to attend his grandmother's 80th birthday, Lowry said that he understands why McIlroy wanted to keep the day under wraps.
"Speaking to the two of them in the weeks leading up to it, I think they were both getting quite stressed about it," said Lowry at the launch of the One for Ireland campaign.
"He’s obviously one of the world’s best golfers and a huge celebrity in Ireland, but Erica very much keeps herself to herself and she’s not into being out there at all and I think that’s the way they wanted to keep the wedding, so fair play to them."
"At the end of the day, your wedding is your wedding and you hope that it’s only going to be the one time that you do it. If you want to have a special day with your family and friends, I think you should be allowed to do that as well. Rory does enough for charity and enough for people and I think he gives enough back that I think he should be allowed do that."
The Offaly native himself kept his wedding to wife Wendy Horner private, with the pair eloping in New York in April last year.
"We’re obviously on a much lesser scale, but we actually had a date booked in Mount Juilet and we were going to get married and we were in the middle of organising it and we saw this couple that went to New York and we said, ‘That sounds amazing.’ And that’s what we did.
"We were starting to get stressed out. Wendy doesn’t want to wake up the day after her wedding and see her picture on the front page of any of the papers. I’m not saying that it was definitely going to be, but that’s the one thing we didn’t want.
"We were kind of talking about it, and I was saying to her, ‘If things go well for me or if I win a Major, all of a sudden the wedding becomes a much bigger deal.’
"We had a great time in New York. Just the two of us. We hired a photographer and he was our witness. He was from Dublin, Jimmy was his name, we didn’t know him. He actually made the day. After we finished taking the photos, he came for a drink and some food with us. It was amazing. It was a bit weird."
After keeping their nuptials low-key, the newlyweds were sure to celebrate with friends and family with a big bash at Powerscourt, Co Wicklow, and asked guests to refrain from posting on social media.
"We had a party in Powerscourt on the 10th of June last year. There was 270 people at it. It was actually a wedding. Originally we wanted to have just a barbecue and have people in the function room and have a band, but we sat down with them in Powerscourt and they said, ‘You can’t have a barbecue for 300 people because it will be carnage.’ So yeah, we had a great night there. We were lucky, The Coronas came and played a few songs. They’re our favourite band as well.
"We asked people that were there that they kept it away from social media because we just didn’t want pictures flying about. Even with my daughter, I’m not into putting pictures of her up on social media and I don’t really want that. It’s just what I want to do and I feel like I should be able to do that. That’s the way we are. Wendy is very quiet and very private and that’s the way we like to live our lives."
The couple continued their privacy streak by keeping Wendy's pregnancy under wraps and quietly welcomed their first child, Iris, in late March.
"She’s great. She’s seven and a half weeks now and she’s sleeping the night. I’m telling everyone this and I’m probably going to regret it. She’s sleeping from seven in the evening, we wake her up for a feed at eleven and she then goes back down and she might not get up until between six and seven o’clock. We’re very lucky. She’s great. She’s a very happy child.
"Even just lying there in bed this morning with her, it’s hard to believe that she’s ours. It puts everything into perspective. She’s now my main focus in life at the minute."
The 30-year-old revealed that he won't be travelling for more than two weeks at a time following his daughter's arrival.
"It is hard [being away from her], but it is what I do and I have to do it. I haven’t played that much this year.
"I took like a month off when she was born and I won’t travel for any more than two weeks now. I’ll do two weeks away and I’ll have to come home. I’ve made kind of a pact with Wendy that that’s what I’m going to do. At the end of the day, I don’t want to be missing her growing up. I want to see her growing up. It’s hard being away, but it’s what I do and it’s what I have to do.
"There are plenty of guys that have to do it, it’s not just golfers. There’s a lot of people who have to travel and provide for their families and that’s how it is.
"We might do a bit of travelling next year with her, when she gets a little bit older. We might do a few months in America next year hopefully."
Shane Lowry was speaking at the launch of the One for Ireland campaign, a charitable movement created to change Ireland for young people, which is taking place throughout the May Bank Holiday weekend. For more information and to donate, visit oneforireland.ie.