Kerry photographer Brendan Landy specialises in photographing the American tradition where brides thrash their dresses after the official photographs are taken. But this dramatic shot showing a newly-married couple, Darren Enright and Eilin Pierse of Listowel, jumping into the sea off a 50ft cliff at Menogane in Causeway really takes the biscuit.

Apparently the bride and groom are both strong swimmers and there was a rescue team in the water in case a problem arose but, all the same, I wouldn’t be too enamoured with the ‘thrashing’ tradition.

Also last week, there was Denise and Mark Duffield-Thomas who exchanged their wedding vows for the 56th time while standing on a ledge at the Falls in Ennistymon, County Clare. Mark is British and Denise Australian and they are attempting to beat the Guinness World Record for the ‘Most Married Couple’. At present, the record stands at 83 exchanges of vows but Mark and Denise hope to pass that out before the end of the year. The only spent 36 hours in Clare but during that time they were married four times at Ennistymon, the Cliffs of Moher, Doolin Cave and The Matchmaker Bar in Lisdoonvarna. And we used to think the Elvis Little Chapel of Love in Las Vegas was exotic!

Monsignor Horan – The Musical

I suppose it was always going to happen sometime but the time is now upon us and we are about to be treated to a musical based on the life of the late Monsignor James Horan of Knock.

Many readers will recall that Monsignor Horan was a parish priest who oversaw the building of a new church at Knock that was dedicated in 1976, three years before the visit of Pope John Paul II to the shrine in 1979. The Monsignor is also credited as being the driving force behind the campaign that, with the support of Taoiseach Charles Haughey and against all the odds, resulted in the establishment of an airport at Knock that was originally named Horan International Airport but is now known as Ireland West Airport Knock.

Monsignor Horan died in 1986, aged 75, and now his life and times will now be retold in the musical, ‘On A Wing and a Prayer’ which will receive its premier in the Royal Theatre Castlebar next month. The musical is based on a book of the same name written by Terry Reilly, a former editor of The Western People newspaper. A top class cast has been assembled by director Lavinia Gilmartin and the principals are describing the script and score was very, very good. So, good luck to them and I hope they have a hit on their hands.

Growing their own drugs

According to our friends down the road in Wexford, the fact that people are growing their own cannabis is now becoming a significant problem in our Sunny South-East. Addressing a meeting of Wexford’s Joint Policing Committee, local Garda Superintendent Kevin Gralton said that, since the closure of Head Shops, more and more people had taken to growing their own drugs. He said his officers had already made a number of seizures and were also monitoring the sale and purchase of illegal drugs via the internet. It was difficult to quantify the traffic involved, he said, but gardai at national and local level were actively investigating the matter. No doubt, if it’s happening in Wexford, it’s happening elsewhere across the region.

A special healing

An elderly couple, Johnny and Mary, were watching television and were very interested in the American woman who was telling Late Late Show host Ryan Tubridy that she was the seventh daughter of a seventh daughter and had the gift of healing. The American woman told how her gift was so strong that she could actually heal people watching at home.

“Stand up and place one hand on the television and one hand on the part of your body you wish to receive healing for”, she instructed, as she began to enter a trance-like state.

Mary eased herself out of her chair and, with some effort, tottered over to the television laying one hand on its top while placing the other hand on her arthritic hip. Johnny hobbled after her and put one hand on the television and the other hand on his private parts.

“Johnny, love”, said Mary when she spotted his stance, “I hate to say it but the purpose of this exercise is to heal the sick, not raise the dead.”