To a wed­ding by bi­cy­cle, or was it re­ally?

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - OPINION - Fr Michael Com­mane

THE parish priest said it was a first for him.

I of­fi­ci­ated at a wed­ding in ru­ral County Meath at the end of June. With­out my car, this was the first time I had to give a sec­ond thought as to how I would get to my des­ti­na­tion. The wed­ding party had kindly of­fered to drive me there but I de­clined as I wanted to get there un­der my own steam.

I cy­cled from home into Dublin city cen­tre, Bus Éire­ann 103 ser­vice to Ash­bourne and from Ash­bourne to Kil­moon Cross, which is ap­prox­i­mately two kilo­me­tres from the church in Rath­feigh, with the 105 bus.

Ar­riv­ing at Ash­bourne I had 20 min­utes to spare wait­ing for my next bus. Went across the road for a cup of cof­fee, where I got talk­ing to two men hav­ing an early-morn­ing drink. We had a great laugh. I thought €2.70 was on the high side for an Amer­i­cano but they were not con­cerned about cof­fee prices. They had two nice pints in front of them.

Back to the bus-stop, and wait­ing there was a youngish woman with her daugh­ter and her daugh­ter’s school friend. They were off to Tayto Park for the day. The two girls had fin­ished first year in sec­ondary school. They had trav­elled by bus from Dún Laoghaire and were all ex­cited about the day ahead.

I do not know how it came about but mum told me that she had older chil­dren and that she was part of a ‘blended fam­ily’. I had never heard the ex­pres­sion be­fore but I knew what she meant and we smiled at the term. She thought my fold-up bi­cy­cle was a great idea.

When I asked her if she had ever seen any­one go­ing to a wed­ding on a bi­cy­cle, she thought it was hi­lar­i­ous. And then when I added that I was the of­fi­ci­at­ing priest we both got great mileage out of that.

Our bus ar­rives. It drives right up to the en­trance of theme park. I had never seen it be­fore and it looks ex­otic and must be a great place to take chil­dren.

I got off the bus at Kil­moon Cross and just as I was about to cycle

off I spot this man, in his late 30s, early 40s. He had got off a bus com­ing from the other di­rec­tion. We were on a mi­nor nar­row road and I spon­ta­neously asked him if he was go­ing to the wed­ding. Yes, he was. He was a friend of the groom, who had asked him at the last minute to video the cer­e­mony. That was the end of my two-kilo­me­tre cycle to the church.

It was a hi­lar­i­ous walk. For the 15 min­utes or so, he re­galed me with what he does for a liv­ing, that his wife teaches maths and they have a small child. He had come by bus from Gal­way to Drogheda be­cause his wife needed the car to bring their child to school. Some­one sug­gested he get a taxi from Drogheda. He was hav­ing none of it and de­cided to take the bus to Kil­moon Cross and walk from there. He was a charm­ing man and so funny. He had me laugh­ing all the way to the church.

The parish priest as­sured me it was the first time he had ever seen the of­fi­ci­at­ing priest turn up for a wed­ding on a bi­cy­cle.

Should I have told him that I had got off the bus ap­prox­i­mately two kilo­me­tres away at Kil­moon Cross?

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