Five generations of the O’Leary family at Rathgarogue church, James (great grandfather) Paddy (great great grandfather) baby Ronan, Clayton (dad) and Colm (grandfather)

Real Weddings

Five generations gather as 'secondary school sweethearts' tie the knot in surprise wedding

Family were attending church for the christening of the couple's son

Five generations of the one family attended a christening, which also turned out to be a surprise wedding.

Wexford couple Andrea Murtagh and Clayton O’Leary had invited family and friends to attend Rathgarogue Church for the christening of their son, Ronan, however, what only a very small number of the attendees knew was that the couple were also getting married.

Andrea said that despite a lot of planning going into the day she and Clayton only told a select few people of their plans.


‘We only told some people the day before that we were getting married but most of them didn’t know at all and we wanted it to be a surprise for everyone,’ she told the Enniscorthy Guardian.

‘Both sides of the family were extremely surprised but they were also delighted for us,’ she added.

Andrea added that some of Clayton’s family ‘had the heads-up’ and the couple planned their big day since February.

She also thanked her friend, Aine Ryan, for her help making sure the day ran smoothly.

The couple have been together since they were in second year in secondary school and as Andrea pointed out: ‘We were secondary school sweethearts.’

Ronan is the couple’s first child but his birth created its own bit of history as he became the fifth generation of his father’s family to bear the O’Leary name.

In addition to his dad, Ronan was joined at his christening by his grandfather, Colm, great-grandad, James, and great-great-grandad, Paddy.

The Christening saw things come full circle for the O’Leary family as Paddy was also Christened in the same church while Andrea received her First Communion there.

Clayton, who now works locally, was in the army but left to be able to spend more time with his wife and child.

Following the church ceremonies the happy couple went to O’Neill’s Pub in nearby Ballywilliam for the reception.

They plan to spend some time in Cork for their honeymoon.