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Some welcome R&R for U.S. troops at Irish wedding party

True Irish welcome for U.S. troops at wedding party

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Some welcome R&R for U.S. troops at Irish wedding party

U.S. soldiers were given a true Irish welcome at a wedding in Co Clare this week.

The 300 troops were stranded in Shannon last weekend after their Iraq-bound plane was grounded.

As luck would have it, they were booked into the same hotel as the wedding party for Amelia Walsh and Sean O'Neill.

And so the 300 troops were invited to join the festivities at the Clare Inn in Newmarket-on-Fergus.

The groom's uncle, Joe O'Neill said: "It didn’t take long before the combat fatigues were manoeuvring to the strains of ‘The Walls of Limerick'."

The happy couple posed for pictures with the troops earlier in the day and Eamon Walsh, the father of the bride, said the couple were "proud" to have the soldiers at their function.

Walsh said the couple invited the men in so they could experience an Irish wedding.

"They behaved in an exemplary manner at all times and if our troops behaved in the same way when they are on peacekeeping duties, I would be very proud," he said.

O'Neill, who flew in to the wedding from his home in San Francisco, said: "As the soldiers began to mingle into the private wedding party banquet area they were told by their Commanding Officer that the area was a private party and off limits.

"Common decency, and Irish hospitality however, overruled personal political opinions, and the groom, a fine young man, accepting that I might be a little prejudiced in this respect, informed the Commanding Officer that they were welcome to join the party.

"I believe the groom’s brother summed up the general feeling of wedding guests when he said, “If my own son happened to be in that situation in a foreign country, I would hope that someone would show him a bit of a good time before he had to face what they are going to," he said.

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