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Dublin: 1 °C Friday 19 January, 2018
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Want to get married in a cattle mart? You could be in muck

Kenmare livestock mart hopes to let you put a ring on it … in their ring.

Kenmare Mart in full flow at one of its twice-weekly sales.
Kenmare Mart in full flow at one of its twice-weekly sales.
Image: Kenmare Co-Op Mart via Facebook

SPACE FOR 300 guests, several aisles and a central viewing ring – sounds like an ideal wedding venue. This one comes with a twist – at least twice a week, it operates as a mart for livestock.

Kenmare Co-op Mart manager Dan McCarthy believes he has hit on a novel new revenue stream for the Kerry institution. Speaking to Catherina Cunnane of ThatsFarming.com, McCarthy says he was inspired by a link to a story on the ag news site which told how a couple in the UK decided to hold their wedding at Melton Mowbray livestock market. The groom operates a farm and the bride grew up on one.

Enterprising McCarthy says that livestock marts here could have similar potential for agriculturally-minded couples in Ireland. He has yet to seek permission for the mart to become an officially-recognised wedding venue, but says that if a couple approaches him with a view to holding a ceremony at Kenmare Mart, he would make enquiries.

He is offering the venue for free to the first couple who agree to hold their wedding there, assuming it gets the go-ahead to host such a ceremony.

To have a venue approved by the Registrar of Civil Marriages, it has to “have adequate capacity to accommodate the numbers attending the ceremony”, must be “a seemly and dignified venue”, be “open to the public” and have “adequate public liability insurance”.

At least three of those four criteria are satisfied by the mart, according to McCarthy.

The place can be done up anyway that they want. They can even have the service in the ring. If they want, the priest can go up on the rostrum. We can have a full feast and music, the whole job.

dan mc Kenmare Co-Op Mart manager Dan McCarthy Source: Dan McCarthy

And speaking to Cork Today on C103, the mart manager said there would be “no problem with the cleanliness because we do believe in having the place clean and there’s air fresheners now that can be sprinkled on”.

He also contended that the mart could have a role to play in kindling rural romances to begin with, telling ThatsFarming: “The mart is the ideal place to view your farmer because they all turn up here. You can find out how many cattle or sheep they are selling if the stock are quality and how many acres they have.

Also, a farmer’s true character is revealed around the ring and I don’t know if that is a  good thing or a bad thing.

Attendees at Kenmare mart range in age from about 20 to 90 years of age, says McCarthy. From extensive images from the mart’s weekly Monday (sheep) and Thursday (cattle) sales on the venue’s Facebook page, the vast majority of those attendees appear to be male.

Should a wedding be solemnised at the mart, McCarthy says he is open to further weddings “with reasonably-priced rates to be negotiated thereafter”.

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