Galgorm fire: James and Grainne's big day goes off without hitch
A newly married couple have spoken of their relief their big day was able to go ahead as planned despite a fire at the Galgorm Resort and Spa.
James McGarry and Grainne Meehan tied the knot at a ceremony at St Mary's On the Hill Church in Glengormley.
Their reception was booked at the luxury hotel near Ballymena for yesterday afternoon. But at around 9.30am, a blaze broke out in the luxury hotel.
Hundreds of residents were evacuated, but fortunately there were no injuries. Although the main hotel was quickly cleaned up, the smell of smoke lingered on for some time afterwards.
Luckily for the couple from Mallusk, their reception was held in the Renaissance Suite attached to the Great Hall at the resort, which is several hundred metres away from the main hotel where the fire broke out yesterday.
As the couple and their 85 guests arrived at Galgorm, they told the Belfast Telegraph that they were glad the biggest day of their lives had not been ruined by the fire.
Grainne said: "Thankfully we were not affected by the fire in any way.
"The staff at the Galgorm are so professional - they are fantastic - so if any crisis had happened here we would have been unaffected".
Grainne works at Belfast Audi on the Sydenham Road and James at Volkswagen in Mallusk.
"We both work in the motor trade, but we met when we were 16 so we didn't meet across the car lot or anything," Grainne joked.
James, meanwhile, was just pleased with the weather. "It has been touch and go all day, but thankfully it is has picked up now," he said.
Grainne added: "We are looking forward to a good evening. We have been planning this for a good while. We have been together for 13 years, so we are very excited about today."
Northern Ireland football captain Steven Davis was also at the hotel yesterday for something to eat with some friends, but he was unaffected by the blaze.
He told the Belfast Telegraph: "We heard about the fire and we rang ahead to check if everything was okay - and it was."