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'With this Swing I Thee Wed' It's a Crystal ball as country girl Dervla ties the knot

NewsBy Eddie Rowley
Dervla ties the knot with local farmer, Tim O’Connor
Dervla ties the knot with local farmer, Tim O’Connor

A convoy of vintage tractors escorted beaming bride Dervla Burke of Crystal Swing to church yesterday for the showbiz wedding of the year in Co Cork.

Leading the parade from the Burke family home in Lisgoold to the nearby Church of St John the Baptist, was Dervla’s brother, Derek, on his own prized tractor.

The bride and her father, Mike, followed in a white convertible vintage car. Hundreds of guests, well-wishers and fans gathered at the quaint country church to witness Dervla, 23, tie the knot with local farmer, Tim O’Connor, 31, from Ballyvodac.

Well known faces among the wedding guests included X Factor star Mary Byrne, RTE presenter Brenda Donoghue, showband star Shaun O’Dowd, country and Irish artists Louise Morrissey and Trudi Lalor, and showbiz reporter Noel Cunningham.

Dervla, 23, ties the knot with local farmer, Tim O’Connor, 31, from Ballyvodac

At her family home her mother, Mary, hosted a pre-wedding hooley out the back with music and finger food for family, neighbours and friends who dropped by.

Finally, as the clocked ticked down and callers dispersed, the bride-to-be slipped away to prepare for the biggest day of her life.

Looking a picture of happiness in her stunning fairytale dress with its flowing veil, Dervla, who is six-foot tall, told the Sunday World: “I fell in love with the dress the moment I saw it. My preference had been a slim-fit dress. This is big and floaty and frilly, but I love it. It’s one that any princess would like to wear on her wedding day.”

Dervla’s bridesmaids, Elaine Power, Frances Connery and Nicola McCarthy, complemented her in mink-coloured short dresses.

Looking on proudly was her dad, Mike. “I’m really looking forward to my dad walking me up the aisle. It’s going to be a special moment,” she told me.

“It’s so easy to get caught up in all the wedding chaos and forget the important things. In the last week, I realised the wedding is important to me for two reasons: walking up the aisle with my dad and marrying Tim.”

It was an emotional day for Dervla’s father, Mike. “My dad never really shows emotion,” she said.

“The first time I ever saw him cry was when I moved out of the house a year ago when Tim and I built our own home. He was very upset and he missed me so much.”

Dervla and Tim are pictured with her brother Derek (left) mother Mary and father Michael

She described her new two-storey abode in the countryside as “a dream house, it’s gorgeous,” adding: “We built it from scratch in a lovely location. Tim organised the construction and I did the décor.”

Dervla had no doubts about saying yes to Tim, whom she met through her brother, Derek, when he popped the question on their third anniversary. 

She said: “From the word go I genuinely liked him. Without being cheesy, they always say you kind of know ‘the one.’ I didn’t have to think twice about it.”

Although they had known each other casually, it was Dervla who made the first move by sending him a message on Facebook. After some correspondence, Tim finally asked her out on a date to the movies.

Their relationship has grown stable and strong, she says. “This probably sounds weird, but we never argue. We have our own opinions and we mightn’t always agree on things, but we don’t argue or fight and we’re happy.

“I don’t know anyone who works harder than Tim. He’s got sheep and suckler cows and he does it all on his own. He has the drive and the motivation to get on in life and that’s the reason I admire him because I’m the same with our family band. I just couldn’t live without him now at this point.”

Dervla admits she was nervous on her first meeting with Tim’s family, as he is an only son with six sisters, Ellen, Anne, Caitlin, Mary, Deirdre and Siobhan.
“I needn’t have worried because his sisters and parents, Tim and Phil, made me feel like one of them from the start,” she says.

Tim’s best man was his nephew, Diarmuid O’Connor, and his pals Darren Byrnes and Neilus Murphy, were groomsmen.

After the ceremony, the reception and celebrations were held at the Midleton Park Hotel, where the couple and their 250 guests were entertained by country star Johnny Brady.