A besotted Irish couple has proved that not even the coronavirus can halt the path of true love when they tied the knot in an empty church.

Helena Scully and Kelvin Power had originally planned a huge wedding celebration, with over 300 guests, at the plush Newpark Hotel in Kilkenny.
But even before the government's ban on mass gatherings came into place earlier this month, the pair had decided it was too much of a health risk to press ahead with their wedding bash.

But postponing their wedding reception till later this year didn't stop them from exchanging their vows on the same date and in the same venue as originally planned.

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The only difference was that instead of being packed with hundreds of guests and adorned with flowers, St. Patrick's Church in Ballyroan, Co. Laois was virtually empty save for Scully and Power, 29, parish priest Father Paddy Byrne and a sole witness.

And speaking after the scaled-back but still moving ceremony on Saturday, Scully, who's from Ballyroan, said even the worrying spread of Covid-19 couldn't prevent it from being the best day of her life.

The 30-year-old said, "It's been a very difficult few weeks for us, as it has for so many people.  We decided pretty early on, even before the restrictions on mass gatherings came in, to postpone the wedding.

"It just didn't feel right and we knew it was too much of a health risk.  We didn't want guests to feel obliged to come if they had reservations.

"But getting married was still very important to us, and we wanted that to go ahead.  Of course, it wasn't possible with the social distancing measures in place to have anyone else present at the church, but it was still very special, and Fr. Paddy Byrne pulled out all the stops to make it a really memorable occasion for us.

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"There's a lot of doom and gloom about at the moment, and understandably so, but this has given us such a big lift."

Meanwhile, Scully and Power, from Clonmel, Co. Tipperary, are convinced their re-arranged wedding celebrations later this year will turn into an even bigger party than originally planned.

She added, "We just don't know what's ahead of us.  We've booked the wedding in for August 2 and that would be amazing if it goes ahead then, because it will mean that the measures in place to combat the virus are no longer needed.

"But one thing's for sure -- once this virus is behind us and our wedding celebration goes ahead, we're going to have a party to remember."

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