Top horse trainer Harry Fry has had some exciting days on the racecourse but none can come close to the drama of his wedding in Adare on Saturday.
As he prepared to tie the knot with sweetheart Ciara O’Connor from Askeaton, news came through that a massive fire had broken out in the historic thatched cottages across the road from the church where they were due to get married.
“A day we won’t forget for a while,” was his somewhat understated description of the events this week.
“It started as we came of the hotel to go towards the church. Four or five fire engines were there,” the Rock On Ruby trainer said.
“We saw the cottages going up in flames,” he added.
The couple and their 200 guests had to stand by and watch as eight units of the fire brigade fought to get the blaze under control.
The wedding, which was due to start at 2.30, was delayed by about half an hour but finally the happy couple were given the go-ahead to proceed with the ceremony.
“It was slightly delayed but that was probably as much down to the bride being late as anything,” Harry commented.
Before the wedding got underway, however, there was another very special ceremony to be shared - the christening of the couple’s six-month old daughter Ruby.
“It was definitely a very memorable day,” said Harry.
“We were lucky in that it didn’t affect the wedding service or the reception.”
But he spared a thought for the two local families who lost their homes in the blaze.
“Obviously it is very sad for the people connected to the cottages and we feel very sorry for them,” he said.
After the marriage ceremony in the Holy Trinity Abbey church, the newly weds and their guests - including well known jockeys Joe Tizzard and Noel Fehily - made their way back towards the Dunraven Arms hotel for the wedding reception.
However, the drama produced one more memorable moment when the couple got a chance to pose for photos on the fire brigade’s hoist.
“We were walking back towards the Dunraven after the service and the chief fire officer said come up her and we will put you up in the birdcage,” said Harry.
The couple climbed aboard and were pictured sharing a kiss as one of the firemen looked on.
“It was a very special day,” Harry added.