THE first civil wedding ceremony at Ardee Castle will take place on Thursday.
Ann Marie Kerin, who grew up at Boat Trench across the street from the castle, will see her dream come through when she marries Longford man Enda Murray.
Enda is a poet from Longford Town, and is now known as the Bard of Ardee.
“He walked into Susie’s Deli in Irish Street,” said Ann Marie, “and started reading his poetry.
“It’s very witty and I loved it. And that was that.
“I moved back from Norwich with my son Eoghan in 2008 to look after my Uncle Paddy who has special needs.
“He’s 90 and is looking forward to our fairytale wedding.
“We had entered the Don’t Tell the Bride TV series and were down to the last couple but didn’t make it in the end.
“We had a date fixed with the Registrar for our wedding and had permission to get married in Ardee Castle.
“When I was small, and growing up in Boat Trench, all I could see from my bedroom window was the castle. I would dream about it. And now I’m getting married there.
“The bridesmaids and all the guests are chipping in and what we spend we’ll spend what we do in the town,” said Ann Marie.
And Ann Marie and Enda are delighted that Brian Walsh, the curator of the County Museum in Dundalk, who is in charge of Ardee Castle, granted their request.
“He has been brilliant,” said Ann. “He couldn’t have been more helpful.”
The castle is owned by Louth County Council and was refurbished about 10 years ago. However, because of fire regulations, it has never been officially opened to the public.
But then Brian Walsh took over the project.
New work was carried out and the castle is expected to opened to the public at the end of the summer.
It will be a museum and hopefully a major tourist attraction.