Former Beirut hostage marries

BRIAN KEENAN, the former Beirut hostage, has secretly married Audrey Doyle, a physiotherapist who helped nurse him back to health following his release in August 1990.

Journalists gathered yesterday in the village of Kilternan, Co Dublin, expecting the wedding to take place in the picturesque blue wooden church of Our Lady of the Wayside, but were initially disappointed when it emerged that the marriage had taken place the day before at a Dublin register office with only close family and friends present.

But yesterday afternoon in front of 70 guests the marriage was given a religious blessing in a ceremony held in brilliant sunshine under a blossoming cherry tree.

Mr Keenan's fellow hostage, John McCarthy, and his girlfriend, Jill Morrell, joined the couple for dinner the night before in a hotel facing the Wicklow mountains, where tight security provided by gardai ensured their privacy.

Mr Keenan, 42, a former Belfast schoolteacher and English language teacher in Lebanon, had booked into the Enniscree Lodge Hotel in Kilternan on Wednesday evening with Ms Doyle, 29, and four friends.

Mr Keenan, who lives near Westport, Co Mayo, has been promoting his book An Evil Cradling, an account of his imprisonment in the company of John McCarthy and Terry Waite.

Later this year he is due to take up a lecturing post in the English department at Trinity College, Dublin.