Exclusive: Cian Healy weds childhood sweetheart Laura Smith in Galway
Ireland rugby star Cian Healy walked down the aisle today with his beautiful new bride Laura Smith.
The couple tied the knot in a star-studded ceremony in Clifden, Co Galway. Most of the guests arrived at St Joseph’s church well before the scheduled time of 1.30pm, but as per tradition the bride was a few minutes late.
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Laura, who works in advertising, opted for a traditional princess-style wedding dress complemented by a tiara and veil while she clutched a bouquet of white roses and wildflowers.
Cian’s rugby teammates at the ceremony were Rob Kearney, Sean O’Brien, Johnny Sexton and Jamie Heaslip.
The wedding party later headed for Ballinahinch Castle, near Recess, also in Connemara, which has been booked exclusively for the weekend to ensure complete privacy.
Set in a private 700 acre estate of woodland, rivers and walks, the castle hotel stands proudly overlooking its famous salmon fishery on the Oranmore river, with a backdrop of the beautiful 12 Bens Mountain range.
Guests enjoyed a sumptuous meal in the castle’s restaurant, which was voted the best in Ireland in April 2017 by Georgina Campbell. The castle itself, which had its first foundation laid in the first decade of the 1800s, has been voted the number one Irish resort by readers of Condé Nast magazine.
Cheapest rooms in the hotel start at €320 per night for a basic double, while a suite costs up to €490.
The 31-year-old Ireland and Leinster prop proposed to Laura the question back in December 2017. The couple first started dating in school, but a move to New York for Laura meant that the couple split in 2012. However, they reunited three years later on her return to Ireland.
Speaking about his longtime love in an interview, Cian previously said: "Laura Smith was my childhood sweetheart. I was with her for a long time before... She was a big support."
The Clontarf native, who also part time DJ under the name DJ Church, once dated former Miss Ireland Holly Carpenter.
But they broke up in 2014 with Healy saying they hadn't managed to stay friends.
He said: "I was heartbroken at first, of course, but time is a good healer."
"I was heartbroken at first, of course, but time is a good healer. It's like any break-up, you need time to re-evaluate things."
Standing 6’1” and weighting 18 st 2lb, Cian has won 88 caps for Ireland and made 207 appearances for Leinster.
Healy, who went to school in Belvedere College, was first called up to the Ireland squad in 2008 and was a key member of the Grand Slam teaming last year, starting four of the five games including the decider against England in Twickenham.
For all the pictures of the couple's big day, see our gallery below: