By Patrick Markey
Patrick O’Sullivan probably never wants to hear the classic song line "Get me to the Church on Time."
The County Cork man’s recent trip from New York to wed his girlfriend in Donegal almost ended in disaster when he was involved in a car crash just a few miles from the church, reports the Derry Journal.
O’Sullivan has arrived in Ireland a week early to sort out the wedding plans with girlfriend Helena McGoldrick. On the day of the wedding, he thought he had plenty of time to spare when he and his best man started out on the final drive to the church 30 minutes before the ceremony. Along the way the group passed another car that had skidded off the road. Little did they realize moments later they’d meet the same fate.
Minutes before they arrived and a mile from the church, the car hit an oil patch and skidded off the road. All four passengers escaped relatively unscathed. But they realized they would have to sprint to the church to make it on time.
"The first thing Paddy said was, ‘Do you have the rings?’ and then he called on us to start legging it," said one of the groom’s companions.
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Leaving the wrecked car behind, the lads arrived just in time for the ceremony with the 300 guests apparently none the wiser.
He couldn’t stand school, so his parents fought to keep him at home, and beat back threats of fines.
James and Lucy Duffy recently won a remarkable legal victory when a judge allowed their appeal against a second conviction for refusing to send their son to school, reports the Irish Independent.
Their son Rory Duffy, who is 12, had not attended school for the last four years. His parents, from County Leitrim, claimed that he was being bullied, suffered a medical problem and was unhappy at national school. So they educated him at home. He was taught for less than six months by a retired UK schoolteacher, but most of his learning has been supervised by his mother.
The parents claimed that they were entitled to teach their son under the constitution.
But they were convicted in April 1997 of breaching the School Attendance Act of 1926 by failing to send sons Rory and Gary (then 13) to school. On appeal to the Circuit Court, the decision was upheld.
The Duffys were convicted of a second breach of the act at Ballyfarnon District Court last December. They were both fined for failing to send Rory to school. They insisted that his right to educate his son at home was guaranteed by the Article 42 of the constitution, which stated that the parents were the primary and natural educators of the child.
A court finally decided they were right.