SHANE McMahon from Pallaskenry crossed the line twice last weekend – first when he crossed into married life with RTE sports presenter Jacqui Hurley on Saturday and then when he crossed the final line at the Cork City Marathon on Monday.
It was, by any measure, a weekend to remember. But as Shane’s dad, Jim, explained to the Limerick Leader, it was also a poignant occasion. coming as it did just six months after the death of Jacqui’s only brother Sean.
“It was very poignant, very moving at the wedding itself,” Jim McMahon said. “The last time we had been in that church was for Sean’s funeral and the Month’s Mind.”
And it was in memory of Sean that Shane, Jacqui and 75 of the wedding guests, including Jim himself, took part in the marathon on Monday.
Running the Cork marathon was, Jim explained, on the “bucket list” of things that Sean drew up just days before he died in a road traffic accident last November. “Two days before Sean died, he was sitting down with his mother and making up his list of all the things he wanted to achieve in his life. One of them was the Cork Marathon.”
And after Sean’s death, the Hurleys decided to complete Sean’s list themselves in his honour.
When it came to the Cork Marathon, though, they had a lot of help. And thankfully, Jim said, they did it in relays. “We all did a mile. They gave us a special dispensation,” he explained.
On Monday, Sean’s parents, David and Mairead Hurley did the first mile of the marathon while his sister Jacqui, with husband of two days, Shane, finished it. They all raced under the number 109, which was Sean’s motorcycle racing number. And on the back of their T-shirts was printed Sean’s bucket list.
A lot of people gave money on the day, added Jim, who did his mile at the 14-mile stage. And many of the wedding guests also contributed. The money is to help provide screening at the Centre for Cardiac Risk in Younger Persons at Tallaght Hospital.
“We’re so proud to have been able to do this for him,” Jacqui told the Irish Examiner, in which she and Shane made front-page news. And she described crossing the line as amazing, “to be able to do what he wasn’t able to do.”
The newly-weds will visit Mexico and take a Caribbean cruise during their honeymoon.
They live in Dublin where Jacqui, a graduate of Mary Immaculate College, has a high-profile job presenting Sunday Sport on RTE while Shane, who is an accountant, is a financial controller with a company based in the capital.