Country star Patrick Feeney ties the knot with fiancée Claire at intimate wedding

Patrick (39) and Claire (35) met on Tinder after Ireland first went into lockdown, and fell madly in love

Patrick and Claire hit it off immediately when they met

Country music star Patrick Feeney has described his marriage to fiancée Claire Hegarty as “the best day of our lives spent with family and friends” as he posted the first photograph from their fairytale wedding.

The happy couple tied the knot last Sunday in an intimate wedding with family and friends at St. Brigid’s Church in Ballisodare, followed by a reception at the magnificent Markree Castle in Collooney, Co. Sligo.

Patrick wore a three-piece navy suit paired with a white shirt and black dickie bow for the special occasion. Claire looked stunning in an ivory gown which she matched with an eye-catching pearl headpiece.

She kept her jewellery choices very simple, opting for a single diamond on a chain.

Patrick (39) and Claire (35) met on Tinder after Ireland first went into lockdown, and fell madly in love. The besotted couple from Co Sligo moved in together a few months later, and Patrick sprung a surprise proposal last Easter.

In an interview on the eve of his wedding, Patrick told the Sunday World: “It’s definitely the biggest show of my life. In one way the pandemic has been a blessing for me.

"This is the most powerful thing that will probably happen in my whole life, and for it to happen in the middle of a pandemic was definitely the best positive you could have had out of it.”

Patrick and Claire on their wedding day

Singer Patrick, who is a member of country music super group The Three Amigos with Robert Mizzell and Jimmy Buckley, as well as enjoying major league success as a solo artist, said he met Claire the very first time he used Tinder.

“I always thought that a dating app wasn’t for me, but with no gigs to play I was at a loose end and at home on my own. Tinder was something to do. It’s the best decision I ever made.”

Patrick says he recognised Claire on Tinder because she works in Wehrly Bros, a well-known jewellers shop in Sligo that he’d often visited.

Patrick and Claire met on the app

“The one and only date I went on through Tinder is the girl I’m marrying now,” he said. “It was obviously meant to be. I’ve had to make a lot of decisions in my life, and sometimes I’ve had regrets. This definitely feels like the best decision I’ve made for a long time.

“First of all, Claire is beautiful and there was an attraction there straight away. She’s a person that’s really suited to me. I’ve never got on as well with a person as I have with Claire.

“We’ve been living together for the last year-and-a-half. We just get on so well. She is very easy to live with. She’s a very kind person and a very caring person.

"She has a lot of very good qualities and I’m delighted that we met when I wasn’t on the road as she got to know me as Patrick Feeney the person at home.

“In the last two months I’ve been very busy on the road and I’ve been away a lot. That’s the first time she’s seen the other side of me and she seems to have accepted that well.

"She’s a very understanding person and knows the type of work that I do. She’s quite happy to have that life. She is just a very, very genuine and honest person.”

Patrick Feeney and Claire Hegarty

It’s important for a couple to allow each other to live their own lives within a relationship? “Absolutely. Maybe it’s because Claire has lived out of home since she was 18, she’s a very independent woman, which is great.

"She does her own thing and that’s another thing that I love about her. She has no issue when it comes to me doing my thing as well.”

Although Claire was aware that Patrick was a singer, he says she has no interest in country music and didn’t know anything about his career.

It takes a very understanding person to live with somebody whose life is in the crazy world of showbusiness. “It does because it’s not for everybody,” Patrick admits.

Robert Mizzell, Jimmy Buckley and Patrick Feeney

“Claire is the type of person who has no interest whatsoever in my music. She came to see The Amigos with a struggle six weeks ago. She really enjoyed it, but that would be it.

"She knows it’s my job and she knows that I have to go and do it and that it entails me being away, but she’s a very easy woman to please. She’s very, very happy. She seems to be very content in her own space and in herself.

“When I’m working we are like ships in the night. I’m gone at night and I come home in the early hours, and she’s up early in the morning and gone in the day.

"Our timetables are the opposite, but that’s what she knows she is signing up for. She accepts it and has no problem with it. Likewise, I don’t have any problem with her work and the fact that she’s away five days a week.”

Patrick and Claire, who are currently building their dream home together outside Gurteen, Co. Sligo, will spend their honeymoon in the Mexican holiday resort of Cancun with a three-day stopover in New York on their way home.

· Now listen to Patrick Feeney telling his life story, including how he found love with Claire, on our Sunday World podcast My Country Life.

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