AN IRISH traveller has revealed that she is marrying her cousin, and they have no less than 73 best men to witness the union.
Chantelle Kielly, 18, who lives in Rathkeale, is marrying her first cousin Jim in a ceremony that the whole town is invited to.
Traditionally traveller families from the town spend ten months of the year travelling before returning in December for wedding season where there can be up to ten ceremonies a week.
Chantelle and Jim’s is one of them with the bride’s family securing the engagement by paying the groom’s family a dowry which ranges between €50k- €120k.
It is currently perfectly legal to marry your cousin in the UK and Ireland however there is a big matter of contention surrounding the morality.
But marrying a cousin is commonplace among traveller communities and Chantelle and Jim wanted to celebrate with a ceremony that the town would never forget.
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Chantelle wore a dress designed by traveller favourite Thelma Madine adorned with no less than 20,000 crystals.
The bride opted for no less than seven bridesmaids but it was groom Jim that really went all out with 73 best men.
The couple, who featured on Channel 4’s Big Fat Gypsy Weddings, then celebrated with a party the whole town was invited to, celebrating by cutting the bespoke Barbie cake.
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Reflecting on the wedding Thelma said: “They are really nice people, the girls are very respectable We always say the Irish travellers are like going back 50 years but the Rathkeale girls are like going back 100 years.
“They’re all family and I think that’s how they keep the wealth in Rathkeale because they just don’t let it go out.”
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