Crystal Swing Derek's marriage to get papal blessing
Crystal Swing singer Derek Burke has been granted an audience with a difference - he and his wife Claire will receive a special marital blessing from Pope Francis on Saturday.
The singer (27) married his girlfriend of four years, Claire McAuliffe, last Saturday at a ceremony in Ballintotis Church, just outside Midleton in east Cork.
Derek arranged for the wedding ceremony to take place on the fourth anniversary of his meeting Claire for the first time.
His mother, Mary, admitted the family were thrilled when Derek and Claire were chosen, along with a small group of other Irish newly- weds, to receive a special marital blessing in person from Pope Francis in the Pro-Cathedral.
"I was fretting that I might have left applying for the normal papal blessing a bit late," Mary told the Herald.
"But then a friend told us about newly-married couples being chosen to receive a blessing in person from Pope Francis.
"We asked that Derek and Claire be considered and were absolutely thrilled when they were one of the couples chosen."
The newly-weds had planned a honeymoon, but instantly decided to postpone their overseas trip until next month to avoid any potential clashes with the pontiff's trip to Ireland.
"It's such an honour, I can't think of a finer way to start out on your married life than by receiving a personal blessing from the Pope. Our whole family are so excited," Mary added.
Derek and Claire are spending a few days touring Ireland until travelling to Dublin for their audience with the Pope.
Cork-band Crystal Swing shot to fame thanks to an internet music video that went viral in early 2010.
The Lisgoold group made headlines with their single He Drinks Tequila eight years ago.