When Catriona Walsh and Frank Ryall chose to tie the knot in Ballygarry House Hotel, it was a decision rooted in family tradition and history. The pair married in the award-winning four-star establishment on September 22, 2018, as it has deep sentimental significance to Catriona’s family. “Three generations of my family got married in Ballygarry House. My parents, my grandparents, and now myself and Frank,” Catriona explains.
It was Catriona’s grandparents, Jeremiah and Marie Moriarty, who commenced the family’s cross-generational tradition. The pair married in the Co. Kerry venue on June 2, 1959. “Myself and Marie chose Ballygarry after we attended The Bootfactory Social there, a local dance for young people, and had liked the venue,” Jeremiah says. Jeremiah remembers the venue’s dancefloor as being a particular highlight for him. “It was one of the best dancefloors in the county, you’d just float around the top of it,” he recalls fondly.
Catriona’s parents, Patrick and Catherine Walsh, married in the venue on February 27, 1982. The pair chose Ballygarry House Hotel upon recommendation from Catherine’s father. “Daddy always spoke so highly of the hotel, so we decided to follow in their footsteps,” Catherine reveals. The pair’s fondest memory is the regal ambiance of the venue’s stunning ballroom area. “The ballroom was especially magical and looked fabulous,” she adds.
Catriona and Frank had a similar experience in the hotel’s astonishing banqueting area. “The Ballygarry staff welcoming us into the ballroom was a very special moment, we felt like royalty. If we were to advise anyone on a perfect location for their wedding day, it would be Ballygarry. We would love to do it all over again,” Catriona reveals.
This family tradition means the world to Jeremiah. “To see my child and my grandchild get married in Ballygarry, it brought back lovely memories of our own wedding day,” Jeremiah explains. This sentimental significance wasn’t lost on Catriona either. “It meant everything to me to get married there. It was a magical and memorable experience, walking through the same doors that my parents and my grandparents walked through all those years ago,” she adds.
Each generation of Catriona’s family have acquired some wisdom when it comes to maintaining a happy marriage. Jeremiah cites the importance of love in his happily ever after. “Love is the foundation of every marriage, so be good to each other,” the grandfather advises. Catriona’s parents’ recommendation is of similar sentiment, as they advise couples to “always have honesty and respect for each other, as well as plenty of love and laughter.”
Catriona and Frank fondly recall the personal touch provided by the staff in Ballygarry House Hotel as a highlight of their day. “For me Ballygarry was everything. I love the hotel, and from the minute we came in those doors they did everything for us. They knew everyone’s name, and a little bit about them. They shook everyone’s hand. It was a real personal touch,” Catriona explains.
Catriona and Frank recall being a room surrounded by family and loved ones as the highlight of their special day, as well as their first dance. “Our first dance was magical as it was very lively and set the tone for the rest of the night. Also, having Spailpín Fánach playing for us in the pavilion was amazing,” Catriona reveals. The pair also describe the wedding meal as “out of this world”.
Jeremiah also appreciates the staff’s assistance when preparing his speech for Catriona’s special day. “The staff gave me a hand going through a few more things with the speech. I had them whisper in my ear telling me there was no pressure and to take my time,” Jeremiah recalls.
“To see our wedding cake laid out with my parents’ and grandparents’ wedding pictures around it, it was perfect,” Catriona adds. “The venue is fantastic, but the people, management and staff in Ballygarry sell it by far. We are looking forward to celebrating the fourth generation of our family’s wedding here in years to come,” the bride adds.