First to marry
in Australia’s
new cathedral

editorial image
A Dundalk couple made history in Australia after holding the first wedding mass in a newly built cathedral.

A Dundalk couple made history in Australia after holding the first wedding mass in a newly built cathedral.

Christian McEleney married his childhood sweetheart Kelly McCann on 12 July.

The couple tied the knot, ironically, in the newly built St Patrick’s Cathedral in Bunbury, Western Australia.

Their ceremony was the first full mass wedding to be performed in the new cathedral.

Fr Vittorio Ricciardi married the couple in front of one-hundred friends and family.

The tie Christian wore on his wedding day is the same tie his father wore on his wedding day 43 years ago.

Christian and Kelly first set eyes on each other during their studies in Coláiste Rís, Dundalk.

They got engaged in October 2002 in Buncrana in Donegal.

They couple emigrated to Australia in 2007 and now have five kids.

Although Chrisitan admits they probably had “the longest engagement in history”, now was the right for couple.

“It was a long engagement, but we are very happy,” Christian told The Democrat,

“We really are living the dream in Australia. That is my motto.”

Kelly is the daughter of Billy and Hilda McCann from Muirhevnamor Dundalk.

Christian is the son of James McEleney and Kay McArdle from the Lower Point Road Dundalk.

A bricklayer and stonemason by trade, Christian now works for a large mining company in Australia while Kelly look s after their family.

“We left in November 2007 for the sun and a better life for our five kids,” said Christian. “They would have no chance in Ireland with the state of the economy and the state of the government.

“I went back to university here. The life is much better. The biggest difference is the good weather. Everybody is always in a good mood.

“The best thing about being here is the lifestyle. We truly are living the dream.

“The worst thing is I miss my family, best mate Mully, the rest of the lads and a good can of Harp.”

Christian lasted visited Dundalk in 2009.

“The biggest changes are all the closed shops. It is very sad to see.”

“Ireland has a special place in my heart.

When asked if he would move home, he said: “I am very patriotic. I would “never say never” .