Our Limerick Love story: Elaine and Tony

 For Elaine Barry and Tony Delaney romance blossomed and briefly faltered at a pension scheme meeting 

Anne Sheridan


Anne Sheridan

Our Limerick Love story: Elaine and Tony

Here comes the bride...and groom: The happy couple are flanked by a special guard of honour

WHEN Tony Delaney told Elaine Barry while on holiday that he wanted to marry her, she took it with a pinch of salt.

They had met many years ago at a meeting which didn’t have entirely romantic connotations – a pension scheme.

At that time Elaine was working as a co-ordinator of Limerick Sports Partnership and Tony, five years her senior, was working for New Ireland Insurance.

Tony, a record holding hurler with 11 county medals for Toomevara, came in to meet Elaine regarding the pension scheme for the company, in September 2007 and then they met on a night out in Limerick that Christmas.

They went out together for three months, but went their separate ways after that. Still friends, the spark was rekindled during Christmas 2014 and the rest, as they say, is history.

“​When we were on holidays in Malta in the summer of 2015, we were out for a few drinks and Tony told me that he would be asking me to marry him at Christmas but I took it with a pinch of salt,” laughed Elaine, who is a lecturer in sports management in Limerick Institute of Technology, and is also completing a PhD in the Psychology of Education, focusing on women in senior management roles, in the University of Limerick.

After a trip to America that September to visit his cousin, Tony bought and brought home the ring, which he presented to her following afternoon tea in Dromolond Castle, dropping to his knee by the water’s edge. 

In all they were together nearly two years when they tied the knot in St Joseph’s Church on O’Connell Avenue on November 26 last, and celebrated afterwards in the Woodlands House Hotel in Adare.

Her husband Tony, a Tipperary man and owner / director of SYS Wealth & Financial Planners, believes he is always right, she says, joking that life would sometimes be easier if he believed the reverse to be true.

On the other hand, Elaine said that she does not believe in cooking, cleaning or ironing and has no shame in admitting it.

Elaine said that in advance of the big day, people told her not to sweat the small stuff and she agrees.

“People told me not to get caught up in the small details because nobody would notice, but I did, and to be honest, they were right. As long as your guests have good food and drink and a good band, they are happy.”

The greatest challenge, she found, was trying to please everyone.

“Just remember that you can't cater for everyone’s different tastes and requirements so do what makes you happy and the rest will fall in to place,” she advised.

Among their chief celebrants on the day was their daughter Farrah, then aged seven months. Their favourite moment was walking into the reception, and not being introduced as Mr and Mrs, but as a family for the first time.

The essentials:

Venue: St Joseph’s Church, O’Connell Avenue, and the Woodlands House Hotel, Adare
Dress: Aibheil, Adare
Photographer: John Daly
Hair/make-up: A team from Catherine Hickey
Groom’s & groomsmen’s suits: Esquire
Bridesmaid dresses: The Ivory Closet, Limerick
Best man and groomsmen: Best man was Tony's brother, Michilin Delaney, and groomsman, cousin Kieran Delaney
Maid of honor and bridesmaids: Elaine's sister Noelle Barry, and best friend Lesley Fitzgerald
First dance song: James Arthur’s ‘Say you won't let go’
Band: Royal Flush
Number of guests: 240
Honeymoon: A week in the Anantara on the Palm in Dubai. It was absolutely stunning