Couple celebrates wedding ‘overseas’

INISHBOFIN hosted its fifth wedding celebration earlier this month with around 60 guests packing the small refurbished church.
Local man Eamonn McGinley wed his sweetheart Mary B Magee from Derryreel in the island church, Teach Pobail Mhuire na nGrás, on August 7.
Family members and a few friends were ferried from Magheraroarty by Harry Coll to witness the nuptials and they then enjoyed traditional music and refreshments in the local hall with Noel Coll playing the accordion. Around 7pm they departed the island for the reception in Ostan Loch Altan in Gortahork.
Speaking to the Donegal News this week as the couple were about to step into a jaunting car in Kerry, Eamonn said the wedding went great and it was lovely to see so much life on the island.
“Everything went really well and the weather stayed lovely and calm for the boat trip in and out. It was a busy time in the weeks before getting everything ready and ferrying it out to the island, but well worth it. We enjoyed the traditional music and a few drinks in the hall and those staying on the island joined us.
The wedding ceremony was celebrated by Fr Brian O’Fearraigh, Fr Sean O’ Gallchoir and Fr James Gillespie.
“Everyone on the island helped out in getting the place ready. Harry Coll did the ferry up in the bridal party colours with balloons and had champagne on board for us,” Eamonn said.
Back in June Eamonn, Mary and a group of volunteers worked on the small chapel to give it a major facelift in advance of the wedding. The chapel, which was built in 1965, had become a bit dilapidated but held dear by the islanders and their children.
There are currently around 20 people staying on the island for the summer months.
Eamonn’s father John Jimmy McGinley, an islander, passed away earlier this year and having the wedding there was Eamonn’s way of keeping that strong connection to the island.
“It was a brilliant day. Everyone was saying afterwards it was a pity we could not have stayed all day on the island. Noel played the accordion on the way back on the boat. It was great fun,” Eamonn added.
Teach Pobail Mhuire na nGrás was built under the watch of Fr Shiels from Gortahork, to facilitate Mass for the islanders so they did not have to travel to the mainland.
Back in June when the local committee put out the call for volunteers to help they got a wonderful response.
“Young people connected to the island have a huge interest in it which is great to see. Our summer community could go as high as 40 people and then you have the fishermen who fish for crab and lobster. It is a very vibrant community,” Eamonn said.

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