Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

09.25 27 Jul 2021


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There should be "good news on weddings" later today, the Health Minister says.

Stephen Donnelly was speaking ahead of a Cabinet meeting this morning, where ministers will discuss the number of guests allowed at wedding ceremonies.

They'll consider a proposal to increase the number of guests allowed to 100 in August - up from the current limit of 50.

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It comes despite Tánaiste Leo Varadkar previously saying that couples should not expect any change to the current limit this summer.

However, the three coalition party leaders discussed the issue at a meeting on Monday evening and the new proposal will now go to Cabinet.

On his way into the meeting, Minister Donnelly said there should be “something positive to say” later today.

He said: “I don’t want to preempt Cabinet, but I think we’ll have good news on weddings today.

“It’s a relatively small number of people, but for all those brides out there and dare I say some grooms out there it is an important day.

“People have been planning for a long time, and a lot of people have put weddings off for a long time.”

Taoiseach Micheál Martin, meanwhile, said the Government had indicated wedding numbers would increase in August, but there'll be "very little else" in the next six weeks around further reopening measures.

'We employ thousands of people'

On Newstalk Breakfast, Tara Fay - President of the Wedding International Professionals Association - said she's not getting her hopes up just yet.

'Good news on weddings' expected after today's Cabinet meeting - Donnelly

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

She said: "When people were told their wedding numbers, they took those numbers on in good faith. Then it was sort of backtracked on.

“Until we actually see it in black and white, we’re not going to believe anything."

She argued this isn't just about individual weddings, but an entire industry and business.

She said: "We employ thousands of people, and feed into local economies.

"I don’t think there’s a single county that doesn’t benefit from a wedding industry."

She suggested the industry has been ignored by Government, and professionals want to be consulted about the next steps.

She said: “We’re not the people that suggested the numbers for weddings - that was a decision made by Government.

"Within the wedding industry, we were actually surprised when they mentioned 100 - why couldn’t they have gone to 75?

“We have been constantly calling for sectoral specific guidelines. They have not been forthcoming. We went and created our own ones."

Main image: Split-screen image of Stephen Donnelly (image via RollingNews.ie) and a wedding cake (image via Pixabay). Photograph: Leah Farrell / RollingNews.ie

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