Good evening, Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls. I hope everyone is enjoying this wonderful day so far.
For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Martin although you may have heard plenty of people refer to me as Antoine throughout the night, This is due to the fact that our groom here has an uncanny talent for picking nicknames that stick. In my case, it was thanks to him overhearing a girl(who really should have known my name), refer to me as Anthony. As simple as it was, here I am 11 years later being introduced to Father Donnac as the wedding rehearsal as Antoine, and being asked to explain my French heritage!
I’m an old friend of John's going all the way back to our first week in college in UCD and it is my great pleasure, and honour to be his Best Man today. I have never been a best man before, and I am not renowned for my speech writing or public speaking, but I’ll have to give it my best shot, as John has promised that if I do a good job today, I can be Best Man at his next wedding too.
Let me start by saying that I think you will all agree our gorgeous bride Myra looks absolutely beautiful. She really does look stunning today. John, on the other hand just looks stunned.
I would also like to say a big "Thank you" to the bridesmaids, Elaine, Valerie and Sharon who all look fantastic and have done a marvellous job in helping Myra with her preparations. In particular I would like to thank them for preventing her escape this morning once she realised what she was getting herself into. I hear they had all the exits covered.
I know John and Myra appreciate you all being here to share in their special day. Some have travelled long distances from far and wide to be here. I believe we have a large contingent down from Dublin…….it never ceases to amaze me how far the Dubs will go for a free meal and a couple of glasses of wine!
I first met John all the way back in our first week in UCD. You could say that our introductions were a little unorthodox. I remember being woken in the middle of the night to a thump on my bedroom door. A couple of seconds later another followed. After the third one, I thought it best to get up and investigate. I discovered my two new roommates leaping about the apartment in the middle of a donut fight. Where they had managed to acquire a tray of 200 donuts that late at night I will leave up to your imagination. Needless to say however, I joined right in……both the eating and the throwing, and after that, we were all the best of mates.
Back then John was a bit of a rascal and a bit of a wind up merchant, and I can honestly say that it’s good to see that some things just don’t change. He has always had a turn of phrase ready for the right occasion, from deep theological thoughts such as “Jesus was a catholic, right?” to geo political ponderings like “Did you guys down in Galway get the Euro yet” and best of all, his many many astute observations ”My god, would you look at the set of delph on her, she’d eat a apple through a tennis racket” He’s always had a way with words and hopefully that will stand him in good stead over the coming years. As we all know, a clever man will always have the last word in an argument – and an even more clever man won’t use it. After knowing Myra for so many years, I am sure he has come to realize this himself already.
Apart from being a bit of a wordsmith, the other thing that strikes me most about John is his great competitive spirit. Whether it’s on the pitch or at the poker table he always gives it one hundred percent. I have experienced this first hand myself to my own detriment on more than one occasion, but one particular incident sticks out in my mind. During one Arts Day in UCD, the Students Union had taken it upon themselves to arrange activities for the whole campus. They had set up a giant padded ring outside the Arts Block. So with a gathering crowd myself and John were coaxed into the ring for the ultimate showdown – in Sumo wrestling. We donned out suits and got stuck in. Not many people realize this, but John has not always been the light and agile figure we all see before us today. In fact he had spent many of his early years in college cultivating mass, and it was time for a harvest. After many a suplex and body slam, I was bested and driven to my knees. An awkward landing meant the next 2 weeks in crutches for me but I learned a very valuable lesson. Never compete against a man in his field of expertise.
Another of his defining traits is his immense navigational skill. We spent a summer in New York and had planned a trip to visit a few friends in Belmore in New Jersey. They had a 6 flags resort next door with rollercoasters, a beach down the road and as many bars as you would find in your average Kerry town, so we knew we were going to be well looked after and were all quite excited. John of course had been taking his time getting ready that morning, trimming the nose hairs and cutting the toenails and of course dousing himself in a bucket of deoderant. The rest of the lads were eager to be off, and I had drawn the short straw of waiting for……the slowest man on the planet. By the time we hit Grand Central the rest of the crew had already pushed on and were well on their way down South. At this stage we had to get the skates on if we were to make the last train. My mistake had come in letting John look after the purchase of the tickets. A four hour train journey later we arrived in the ghost town of Belmare with not a sinner in sight and not a pint to be had. As it turned out, we had gone around 300 miles in the exact opposite direction of where we should have gone, so it just goes to show that he doesn’t do thing by half. We never made it to 6 flags that summer, but I hear he’s heading back stateside in a couple of weeks so maybe Myra would treat him…………..but John, just a word of advice, please leave the directions to her this time. It’ll work out best for everyone involved.
All joking aside… it really is a privilege to be here today as John’s best man. He’s a great man, and as we all know, behind every great man is a surprised woman. He is very fortunate however that it’s Myra, a beautiful girl, with a heart of gold and a smile that lights up the darkest room. Perhaps the best thing I could say about Myra is that John's a better man now than he was when he met her. She brings out the best in him, as she does with everyone else and I think you will all agree that she deserves a great husband. John, thank god you married her before she found one.
Finally, ladies and gentlemen, it gives me great pleasure to invite you all to raise your glasses in a toast to John and Myra, the new Mr. and Mrs. Molloy. We wish them well in the future and hope they enjoy a long and happy marriage together. So, here’s to love, laughter and a happy ever after. Here’s to John and Myra.