Updated. Sir John Leslie is the uncle of Castle Leslie's owner, Samantha, and her husband Ultan. Yesterday he told reporters in Glaslough, Ireland that Sir Paul's wedding will take place there on Tuesday:"We are told vaguely it is next Tuesday like the papers say, but it is all secret. I have to keep it dead secret, you know."Sir John, the 4th Baronet of Glaslough, says that he has been "virtually under house arrest" since all the security guards arrived. He was able to "escape" for a little while to walk into town to mail a letter. Sir John laughed as he told reporters:"There are eight security men sleeping in my house the whole time. I am trapped in there. I am being dictated as to what I can't do and say. They hardly ever let me out, but I get a lot of information from the security men. But I don't think they are going to get married in the church in the grounds - that's not quite clear.At the moment, the castle is being patrolled by 100 security guards. Two large marquees and a covered walkway have been erected, and caterers have started to deliver food to the castle's head chef, Noel McMeel, who has been instructed to prepare a vegetarian menu with an Indian theme. Lights have been installed in the trees, and a no-fly zone has been imposed over the grounds.
" I'm delighted, it's all great fun. It's very nice for everyone. I can't say anything about it. Paul McCartney was here sometime ago. He was a nice man. He came here about a year or two ago just as a visitor - we take paying visitors - and he had a look around. He liked the place so he decided to come back and get married here. (see June 3, 2001) They might do something at the last minute or change it, you never know."
Ms. Diane Kendrick who runs The Olde Bar across from the castle told reporters:"We are all excited but we do not know what is going on. There have been lorries and trucks up and down this road for the last few days. It is going to be a huge party. It is my birthday next week and the family wanted to take me to the castle to celebrate but it is all reserved now."Glaslough postmistress,Gladys Lyster, commented on the activity, as well, saying:"I saw carpet lorries arriving today so there could be a few days to go before the event. It is strange with all these photographers and cameramen around but it is very exciting for us all, especially the children."Another Gaslough resident added:"There's been lots of activity and it appears they want to make their wedding very special and really romantic. But at the moment the place looks a bit like a building site."Gerry McQuaid, who lives next-door to the castle has observed:"The whole site has been closed down for about two weeks now. There are security guards all around it, we reckon about 100 at least, and one of them said they had all been specially sent here from Edinburgh."In fact, the guards, are from the Edinburgh firm Rock Steady, which provided security at Madonna's wedding to film director Guy Ritchie at Skibo Castle.
Eugene Keenan, a farmer from nearby Monaghan told reporters, "There have been big electricity generator lorries in the village and there have also been barrels of oil transported into the grounds. Whatever it is that is going on needs a lot of power."
Gary Roberts, the minister of a 17th century stone chapel that stands on the grounds of the castle (where legendary British prime minister Winston Churchill was baptized ) claims that he does not believe the castle spokespeople when they say all the activity is in preparation for a product launch. Rev. Roberts said,"There are two rumors in the village. One is that Sir Paul McCartney and Heather Mills were getting married there - there is certainly something big happening there - the second is that there is a product launch. At this stage I would think that it seems to me like the wedding would be most likely, that would be my own feelings. It would be a very big product if it were a product launch."Happily, church attendance should be up this week. Last week, only 25 parishioners were present for the 11:00 a.m. service. This week, Rev. Roberts expects there will be more:"It's going to be a great opportunity for me to spread the word. It'll be wonderful - hardly a soul has come and listened to me for years. I'll probably be turning people away on Sunday, as there is only seating for 250. I am really looking forward to seeing the church packed full. People take an interest in things like this. It creates a buzz in the village obviously. The local bars are certainly doing very well out of this. People are gathering to chat about it.The only official word from Sir Paul's staff is from his publicist, Paul Freundlich, who informed the press yesterday that the wedding would not take place in Manhattan.
"I have spoken with security at the castle and they have advised me that it will be OK for my parishioners to enter - not that we want to have to negotiate with them since we have a right to meet there each week, by law. At present, we are not envisaging having to frisk anyone or put them through scanning machines to search for cameras. I don't know yet how we are going to deal with the inevitable ones who will just be there to get a sneak preview of the wedding. We'll have to deal with that as it comes."
(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)
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