The County Clare newlyweds who welcomed 300 stranded U.S. troops to their Irish wedding celebration had U.S. Ambassador to Ireland Dan Rooney and his wife Patricia over for tea at their new abode.
Rooney and his wife paid a visit to Sean and Amelia O’Neill on Tuesday to personally thank them for showing their kindness to the U.S. troops after technical difficulties grounded their Iraq-bound plane in Shannon last month.
The bride and groom invited the soldiers to their wedding reception at The Clare Inn, where both groups were staying.
Originally, the incident was surrounded by controversy, with reports that U.S. troops “gatecrashed” the Irish wedding.
The groom, however, immediately shut down these claims, explaining that a few of the soldiers had congratulated him and his new wife, and he in turn invited them to join in on the wedding festivities.
Small groups of soldiers entered the party for a half-hour each, enjoying soft drinks and joining in on the dancing, and the happy couple said they were proud to have them there.
The O’Neills returned from their honeymoon in the Isle of Man, and were soon greeted by a visit from the ambassador.
The couple served the Rooneys tea, coffee and cream cake, while the ambassador gifted the pair with t-shirts bearing the logo of his football team, Superbowl champs the Pittsburgh Steelers.
He also presented the bride’s father, Eamon Walsh, with a book of American Civil War paintings.
Walsh said: "It was a lovely visit. They were lovely down-to-earth people and we were able to have a laugh and a joke."