'You only get one and it's ruined' - Bride-to-be forced to postpone 37-woman hen party due to Storm Emma
Orla Helly's plans for a hen weekend to remember have succumbed to Storm Emma.
The bride to be, who is due to tie the knot in June in Nerja, Spain, said the party planner had never seen such a huge hen party planned for Carrick on Shannon - and for them all to have paid so promptly!
"She said I must be popular," says Orla jokingly, but clearly saddened by the thoughts of the hen party her friends had planned since last September going to waste.
"There was 37 of us heading down at two o'clock on Friday and first the bus cancelled on Wednesday - he said if it was any way the way it was that they'd be at a standstill," said Orla. "They said they'd give me a refund and there was no issue there whatsoever, and the hotel mailed me to say they'd refund everything too, they were very nice."
Orla and her ladies might get their money back, but of course it still leaves the bride-to-be without her once-in-a-lifetime hen.
"It's awful, You only get one hen in your entire life and it's ruined.
"My sister Ciara is amazing and did absolutely everything. She was upset because she likes things to be perfect and God love her she put her heart and soul into it."
And while the group of girls are planning to attempt to get down to Carrick on Saturday afternoon - which is the only day the hotel can hold such large numbers between now and Orla's wedding - they don't hold much hope.
"As Leo says nobody is going to wave a magic wand on Saturday," she says. "But they're booked out after that and I just don't know if anywhere would be able to take 37 of us at this stage."
As many who have planned a hen party can probably attest to, getting a group of friends together for a night out (let alone two nights!) is no mean feat, and the planning that will go into rearranging her original hen for another date are looking fraught already.
"It's just horrendous because my friends have planned babysitters and stuff so we've kind of looked down the road to see if there was anything else we could do," said Orla.
"It's planned since last September and there's just loads of stuff going on like other people's wedding."
For Orla, the weather anomaly that is Storm Emma has given her pause for thought about her wedding day coming up this summer.
"You live and learn," she says, "today I've taken out wedding insurance, 'cause God knows me there'll be volcanic ash or something over my wedding!"
"I don't think I'll have a hen now," she concludes, "but nobody died, so sure that's it."