Tánaiste joins the ranks of the Geoghegan Clan
3 December 3001: She barely found a window in her busy schedule to attend her own wedding ceremony on Friday (30 November 2001) evening, so where on earth did the Tánaiste, Ms Harney, celebrate her hen night? Ms Harney joked with party colleagues at the weekend that her "hen night" was spent at a fundraising quiz organised by the Young Progressive Democrats in the Harcourt Hotel in Dublin on Thursday. News of the party leader's secret wedding to Mr Brian Geoghegan was reportedly greeted with an "outpouring of goodwill" by delegates at the PD general council meeting in the Anner Hotel in Thurles, Co Tipperary, on Saturday.
Ms Harney, who is 48, married Mr Geoghegan, a divorcee in his 50s, at Dublin Registry Office after a year-long romance. The couple had been friends for years. Mr Geoghegan, who is chairman of FÁS and IBEC's director of economic policy, will live at Ms Harney's home in Sandymount, Dublin. The Fine Gael leader, Mr Michael Noonan, sent Ms Harney a bouquet of flowers at the weekend. Good wishes were received from the Taoiseach, Mr Ahern, while the President, Mrs McAleese, also sent a congratulatory message.
Ms Harney was said to be "overcome" by the warm reception she received in Thurles, particularly when two members of the public approached her with flowers. The Tánaiste spent most of the weekend on the phone accepting congratulations from colleagues and political opponents. However, she will be back at her desk on Monday in preparation for one of the busiest weeks in the political calender.
A larger celebration for family and friends will be held during the Christmas holiday period.
Ms Harney began her wedding day with a 7.30am meeting with the Taoiseach. Unknown to most of her political colleagues, Ms Harney's final appointment on Friday was the last wedding service slot of the day at the Dublin Registry Office. In between, she took part in the North/South Council meeting in Dublin Castle before attending negotiations to resolve the sugar beet dispute. She did not leave the meeting until after 4 p.m. and rushed home to change before the wedding service, which began at 4.50 p.m. Witnesses at the service were Ms Harney's sister, Geraldine, who is an RTÉ reporter, and Mr Geoghegan's sister, Isabel. Also in attendance were Ms Geraldine Harney's partner, Mr Gay O'Driscoll, and Ms Renagh Holohan, the Irish Times columnist. Ms Harney wore a long, pale lilac dress and coat. Her outfit was designed by a young Irish designer, Synan O'Mahony.
After the wedding ceremony, the party returned to Ms Holohan's home in Sandymount for champagne before travelling to the Moyglare Country Manor House Hotel in Maynooth, Co Kildare, for a dinner for 20 guests. Ms Harney and Mr Geoghegan will go on honeymoon after Christmas. The destination is not known. Mr Tom Parlon, IFA president, who was at the talks to resolve the farmer's sugar beet dispute which almost caused Ms Harney to miss her wedding, has praised the Tánaiste for her "almighty effort". As for a wedding present? "I might get her something in the sugar line," he said.
The above article and picture was shamelessly ripped off from the Irish Times. The picture on the right was similarly ripped off from the Irish Independent.