Jack Kiernan got this press cutting from Cathryn Roche (nee O’Brien), a daughter of Ethne O’Brien (nee Tutty), who is a grand-daughter of Helen’s uncle Francie – (Yes, it does sound complicated). The Miss M. Kiernan mentioned is Maud, Helen’s sister. The Mr Kiernan mentioned is Margot Gearty’s father Larry, Helen’s brother. He gave the bride away in place of her deceased father.
Margot remembers her aunt Helen as a very beautiful woman and a very warm and lovely person. She told me that she remembers her aunt Helen returning home to Granard, in her early forties, to die.
It is a known fact that Michael Collins fell for Helen when he first met her, as mentioned elsewhere on this blogsite but, because of her marriage, turned his attention to her sister Kitty. To quote from a previous post,
“Frank O’Connor claimed that ‘on the night before her wedding [Michael] went to her hotel and pleaded with her not to go through with her marriage’ and that during the wedding speeches he was so agitated that he shredded his handkerchief.”
None the less he figures prominently in this picture. The romantic among us, which includes Margot, like to think he does not look happy wittnessing his object of affection throwing in her lot with an Enniskillen solicitor. The unsentimental among us think it might just be a case of indigestion. Another consideration could be his reported aversion to cameras at a time when Dublin Castle did not have a good picture of him – Michael being a wanted man at the time.