independent

Saturday 17 August 2019

WEX-FACTOR

DERMOT BOOKS A WEXFORD BAND AND INVITES HIS RELATIONS FROM ACROSS THE IRISH SEA

MARIA PEPPER

IT WASN'T the X-Factor but it was the next best thing for Wexford duo Emerald Folk who got to sing at Dermot O'Leary's celebrity wedding in England.

Roger McGuire and Steven Murphy were booked by the television presenter to play at the reception in Chiddingstone Castle in Kent where a tricolour flew incongruously from a turret for the special occasion along with the Norwegian flag.

O'Leary, a son of Wexford natives Sean and Marie (nee Browne) saw Emerald Folk in action in Mooneys on the quay several months ago during a visit to the town.

Roger was surprised to get a call from Dermot's P.A. asking if they were available for the wedding date. 'Of course we were delighted,' said Roger. X-Factor presenter O'Leary arrived at Chiddingstone Church in a cream coloured Mercedes Benz Pagoda to marry his long-term girlfriend Dee Koppang whose family are from Norway.

Among the celebrity guests who rubbed shuolders with a happy contingent of O'Leary relatives from Wexford were British television regulars Leigh Francis (aka Keith Lemon), Holly Willoughby, Fearne Cotton and Caroline Flack; Antony Cotton of Coronation Street fame and the Irish-born comedian Chris O'Dowd.

Flying the Wexford flag on the guest list were O'Leary's uncles Dermot of Walnut Grove who attended with his wife Margaret and Fintan of George's Street; his aunt Angela Browne, and his cousin Leslie Power and her husband Padraig and daughter Linda of Corish Park.

The guests enjoyed a sumptuous meal and a programme of post-dinner entertainment which included three bands, a fireworks display and a D. J.

Emerald Folk were the second act on stage and had everyone up dancing with their lively Dubliners-style performance.

'It seemed to go down well. They were all jumping around,' said Roger who admitted to being uncharacteristally nervous before the performance.

Chiddingstone Castle which hosted the wedding dates back to the 15th century and is set in 35 acres of grounds with a lake and rose garden.

'It was a magnificent day, absolutely fantastic,' said Margaret O' Leary.

'Everyone was really lovely and they all mingled and mixed.'

Emerald Folk 'went down a storm', according to Margaret.

O'Leary proposed to Dee during a short holiday in New York in November last year.

For her big day, the bride wore a vintage style lace wedding dress. Some of her family dressed in national Norwegian costume.

The newly-weds are reported to be planning two honeymoons which have to be scheduled around the presenter's X-Factor appearances.

O' Leary (39) was born in Colchester, Essex where his parents settled after they emigrated from Wexford in the 1960's.

His dad Sean O'Leary is from Tuskar View while his mother Marie grew up in Corish Park.

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