The following is a report of an very interesting wedding custom carried out in the Abbey area in 1864 much to the dismay of the local constable.
A POLICE CASE AT LIMERICK.
An old woman named Mary Mullins, and a girl named Mary Gloster, were charged with committing an assault on some persons in a house, the Abbey.
Constable Cronin stated that on the previous evening an old couple in the Abbey got married, and a crowd followed them about the city, rattling stones in old cans and kettles. He would not have minded that, but some of the crowd entered a house where the bride and bridegroom retreated to, and then did violence to several parties. He arrested the prisoners as ringleaders.
Mrs. Mullins (herself a grey-headed old dame, who had committed matrimony half a dozen times): Yea, why wouldn’t we give ‘um a taste o’ music, yer Honors, the poor ould crators. Sure the old bride himself is a great grandfather.
Constable: That’s true, your Worship; he’s over seventy-five years of age.
Mayor: Is it not the practice to serenade old people when they get married in the Abbey?
Mrs. Mullins: To be sure it is, your Worship; why wouldn’t we give the poor ould divil a rattle?
Mayor: I don’t see what right we have to interfere with old customs.
Mr. Doyle, sol.: Are you long in that station, constable ?
Constable: I am, sir.
Mr. Doyle: Are you not aware it is the usual practice to serenade old, couples in that way with kettledrums?
Constable: It is, sir.
Mr. Doyle: In fact it is an institution, and. the old couple would feel disappointed if it had not been observed?
Mrs. Mullins: They would so, sir.
Mr. Doyle: I understood from your Worship this is the fourth time the old conjungo has entered the holy bonds of matrimony.
Mayor: Where are the bride and bridegroom now?
Constable: Enjoying the honeymoon., sir.
Mayor: Well, I hope. We discharge you now, and take care to ” kettle” without doing harm the next time.
– Launceston Examiner, 24 December 1864
The wedding probably took place in St Mary’s Old Roman Catholic Chapel on Athlunkard Street, which was located behind where the new St Mary’s Church Stands today.