PICTURES | Longford man in New York spends his wedding date feeding frontline staff

Jessica Thompson


Jessica Thompson


Saturday, April 25, was supposed to be a very special day for Longford man, Seán Hayden and his Costa Rican fiancée, Laura Monge, who had planned on getting married, surrounded by their families and friends in beautiful Costa Rica.

Thanks to Covid-19, it didn’t quite work out that way but that didn’t stop the couple from making the day count, as they set out on a mission to feed New York’s frontline staff.

“We knew it was unlikely when the president stopped travel from Europe,” Seán explained.

“Not much you can do. I felt bad for Laura because she put so much work into it over the last year and all the people who were coming from Ireland.”

Seán has made quite the life for himself over in the Big Apple. He moved there from Longford town 22 years ago and, together with his brother, Graeme Granard man, Paul Kiernan, and Cavan’s Rory Dolan, he has become a well established businessman in the city, setting up four popular bars, Valerie, Alfie’s, Dalton’s, and Jasper’s.

All four venues have been quite successful so, when the opportunity to do something good for New York’s frontline staff came up, Seán and Laura seized it with both hands.

“A friend set up a GoFundMe page to feed the frontline workers and asked me to donate,” Seán explained.

“So, instead off donating money, I thought it would be cool that we could spend the day cooking and delivering food ourselves to the hospitals. They were extremely grateful.”

New York is very “surreal and quiet” at the moment, Seán admitted. It was hit hard by Covid-19 and has been completely shut down for some time.

“The city is basically empty . We live close to Times Square and I never imagined I’d see it so s,” he said.“But in the last week the numbers seem to be slowing down, which is good news and the Governor has started the conversation about reopening the economy.”

At least the frontline heroes were kept fed and watered. As for the wedding, the new date has been set for January 2021.

Read also: Longford undertaker donates PPE to 'wonderful staff' of St Joseph’s Care Centre