A traditional country wedding for Angela Fahy and Paddy Moyles in the village of Monivea, County Galway.

Legend has it that Saint Patrick put a curse on Monivea, a small village six miles outside Athenry in County Galway. But in spite of the bitterly cold weather, spirits are high among the villagers out in force to celebrate the marriage of Angela Fahy and Paddy Moyles.

For the father of the groom it is,

The happiest day in my life to see Paddy my son married to such a fine girl as Angela Fahy.

Following a church ceremony Angela Fahy and Paddy Moyles travel to their reception in a Victorian horse drawn carriage. On every wedding day in Moinvea, bonfires are lit along the main street and just about everybody turns out to cheer the bride and groom.

It's a quite spontaneous and a quite amazing sight.

Angela is amazed at how many people have shown up given the cold weather. On the village green local musicians are assembled to give the couple a reception. The wedding party and guests are reluctant to go inside McGann’s pub, preferring to sing and dance on the street for the afternoon.

A visitor from England has never seen anything like it,

It’s a marvellous occasion it’s the first time I’ve seen an Irish wedding, so it’s quite something.

The couple’s wedding day follows a tradition which locals say goes back to the 17th century. Monivea is the only village in the country where this old style wedding tradition is kept alive. Padraic McGann who runs the village pubs believes,

We really are a romantic village. We’ve created something that no other body can do in this country.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 6 March 1986. The reporter is Jim Fahy.