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Nurse spends her wedding day working on the frontline

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Dedicated: Nurse Aisling McGarrell spent what should have been her wedding day working on the frontline in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda. Photo: Ciara Wilkinson

Dedicated: Nurse Aisling McGarrell spent what should have been her wedding day working on the frontline in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda. Photo: Ciara Wilkinson

Dedicated: Nurse Aisling McGarrell spent what should have been her wedding day working on the frontline in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda. Photo: Ciara Wilkinson

A nurse who had to postpone her wedding because of Covid-19 spent what should have been her wedding day working on the frontline.

Aisling McGarrell and Mark McBride, from Co Monaghan, were to marry last Friday - the sixth anniversary of their first date - and should have been heading to Dubai and the Maldives for their honeymoon today.

Instead, Aisling will again be working in a job she loves, as a clinical nurse manager in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda, Co Louth.

She said the couple, who got engaged at the Galway Christmas markets in December 2018, made the difficult decision to postpone their wedding as restrictions due to Covid-19 began to be introduced last month.

"When Taoiseach Leo Varadkar started to announce the schools would be closing down and that there would be restricted gatherings of 100 people, we decided that we would not have the wedding we wanted and we would postpone it until a later date," said Aisling.

She and Mark, who is a test engineer in CombiLift and also a part-time farmer, were worried about putting any of their guests at risk of catching the coronavirus at the wedding.

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Aisling McGarrell and Mark McBride postponed the big day

Aisling McGarrell and Mark McBride postponed the big day

Aisling McGarrell and Mark McBride postponed the big day

"We both have grannies and there would have been elderly people there and we wanted to make sure everybody was safe, we didn't want anybody to catch it or to feel uncomfortable or feel they had to go.

"It was a difficult decision but we knew it was something we had to do," she said.

They were to marry in Aisling's local church, the Sacred Heart Church in Lough Egish, and then have their reception in Bessmount House, a stately home in Co Monaghan, with caterers and a marquee. That is all now put on hold.

"I was asked by my manager if I wanted the day (Friday) off or would I prefer to work," Aisling said.

"I said I would prefer to work it and at least I wouldn't be home dwelling on things and watching the clock and thinking, 'I should be doing this now'."

One of her nursing colleagues put a post on Facebook about how Aisling was working on what should have been her wedding day and it prompted many well-wishers to respond and there were donations from people and businesses.

Aisling was given flowers, champagne and a hamper, and her colleagues also gave her gifts on Friday.

"We are just overwhelmed by everybody's support, people's generosity is amazing. People have been so nice, it makes it easier," said Aisling.

The couple have yet to set a new date for their wedding as things are so uncertain with Covid-19.

However, they said they wanted to "thank our families and especially our parents and close friends for all their support over the last few weeks".

Aisling, although working on the frontline, said she was simply doing her job on the ward in Newgrange 3.

"I know everybody says I am amazing to go to work and do my job on the frontline, (but) I am just doing my job.

"I do not feel I am doing anything out of the ordinary. I just see it as my job and I love my job," she added.

Irish Independent