Social media users were infuriated after a teenager revealed how she married her cousin in a grand ceremony in a resurfaced clip from Channel 4’s Big Fat Gypsy Wedding.
Chantelle Kielly, 18, who lives in Rathkeale, married her first cousin Jim in an episode of the recently resurfaced show, and invited the whole town to watch their union.
The groom went all out by adding the best 73 men to his wedding party, while the bride had at least seven bridesmaids.
Meanwhile, Chantelle wore a traveler’s favorite design dress, Thelma Madine, which was decorated with no less than 20,000 crystals.
Despite the bride’s enthusiasm for the big day, many social media users were horrified by the clip, with one caption: ‘Marrying your first cousin really needs to be considered a criminal offence. I feel very sorry for their children.’
Big Fat Gypsy Weddings had huge ratings with millions watching to see the light shine on one of Britain’s poorest groups, with the series ending in 2014.
Chantelle Kielly, 18, who lives in Rathkeale, has revealed how she married her cousin in a grand ceremony featuring the best 73 men in a clip that resurfaces from Channel 4 show Big Fat Gypsy Wedding.
Traditionally, traveling families spend ten months on the road before returning home each December for the wedding season.
The winter months can see as many as ten ceremonies each week take place between them in society.
For Chantelle and Jim, the bride’s family can secure the engagement by paying her family a dowry, which ranges from €50k- €120k.
The couple celebrated their wedding with a huge city-wide party, with the groom saying his best man count was ‘average.’
At the reception, the couple joined the guests on the dance floor before they celebrated by cutting a bespoke Barbie cake
At the reception, the couple joined guests on the dance floor before they celebrated by cutting a bespoke Barbie cake.
Is it legal to marry your cousin?
It may be controversial but it is legal to marry your cousin in the UK.
A relationship described as ‘kinship’ is one between a couple who are at least second cousins or more closely related.
The practice has been legal in the UK for more than 400 years, but is considered one of society’s last taboos.
In the British Pakistani and Bangladeshi communities, cousin marriages are designed to strengthen families and keep wealth intact.
A growing tradition in British Pakistani culture – 55 per cent of young people marry their first cousin.
Figures show that 42 percent of all marriages end in divorce, but in first cousin marriages it is 20 percent.
It is also a common-place in the tourist community.
But there are huge health risks involved for the children of the couple.
And when they are tragically born disabled, it is taxpayers who have to bear the huge costs of their NHS care, which can run into the millions over a lifetime.
Britain’s first Asian colleague, Baroness Shreela Flater, has in the past called on the British Pakistani community to ensure cousins undergo DNA testing before marriage.
A former attorney sitting in the House of Lords, he shared his own thoughts on the topic in 2015.
‘There are many first cousin marriages in certain communities, especially among Pakistanis who are from the Kashmir region of Pakistan.
‘We know a lot about DNA now, but there’s so much disability among children, it’s really awful.’
Baroness Flater also lashed out at parents for ‘allowing children to be disabled’ because of their social practices which he believes do not belong in today’s social era.
He added: ‘At least there should be some rules that say you have to undergo a DNA test before your marriage can be registered.’
Reflecting on Thelma’s wedding, the Liverpool tailor who sewed frothy fantasy into wedding day reality for the traveler bride, said: ‘That dress looked gorgeous, she totally did it.
‘They are very nice people, the girls are very respectable. We always say Irish travelers are like going back 50 years but the Rathkeale girls are like going back 100 years.
‘They are all family and I think that’s how they keep the wealth in Rathkeale because they don’t let it out.’
Speaking at the reception, Chantelle said: “I want to thank my mum and dad for giving me this big day, my sister and everyone who enjoyed this wedding.”
But despite the couple’s excitement over the wedding, many of those watching were horrified by the clip.
One social media user commented on Facebook: ‘Marrying your first cousin must be illegal.
‘I’ve watched documentaries about how old European aristocrats ended up with multiple genetic defects from marrying first cousins.
‘Obviously too closely related.’
While another wrote: ‘Keep it in the family!’
A third added: ‘Wow England, wake up. This is bad. The fourth cousin is okay, but not the first! I think England and Ireland are better at genetics.’
“So their parents are brothers,” wrote another. ‘Good grief!’
Big Fat Gypsy Wedding reveals lavish and stunning weddings that seem to be the norm nowadays among young traveling couples.
It proved to be an unlikely hit for Channel 4, attracting the channel’s highest ratings since Big Brother’s heyday in 2008.
But when the series ended in 2014, the traveling community complained that Big Fat Gypsy Weddings gave an inaccurate picture of their lives.
Following an open letter to broadcasters posted online by 17-year-old Pip McKenzie, many claimed they had been harassed and assaulted as a result.
McKenzie said she had been assaulted, while her 12-year-old cousin was beaten by girls calling her a prostitute.
He said: ‘Unfortunately, your documentary, Big Fat Gypsy Weddings, is a work of fiction.
‘I’m sick of the usual racism against Gypsies and Travelers being tolerated.’
He added: “I was surprised to learn that 99 per cent of the gypsy population and British travelers are Irish.
‘Correct me if I’m wrong, as I’m sure you’ve done a lot of research on this topic, but only 10 per cent of the gypsy population and travelers are actually Irish travelers.
Many social media users were stunned by the clip, with some suggesting the marriage should be ‘illegal’.
‘The majority, like me, are actually Romans, but your ‘documentary’ seems to ignore our existence.
‘While I have nothing but respect for the Irish traveler community, you don’t seem to realize that we are two different ethnic groups and as such there are many differences between our cultures.
‘While the Irish traveler is from Ireland, we can trace our route back to India, so it is not surprising that I am a bit confused when you use the word gypsy in the title of your ‘documentary’ about Irish travelers.’
Chantelle wore a dress by traveler Thelma Madine, adorned with no less than 20,000 crystals
For Chantelle and Jim, the bride’s family can secure the engagement by paying her family a dowry, which ranges from €50k-€120k
‘I was even more confused when your ‘documentary’ about Irish travelers seemed to feature a foreign culture that most Irish travelers don’t even recognize.”
Mr McKenzie added: ‘We suffer discrimination on a daily basis and our human rights have historically been violated, however you find it acceptable to broadcast a misleading ‘documentary’ that has been created not to raise awareness of our plight but for entertainment.
‘We are no joke, we are human and your work of fiction only reinforces stereotypes and ignorance.’
The couple celebrated their wedding with a huge party that invited the whole city, with the groom saying his best man count was ‘average’
Revealed: One in five child deaths in the east London area is due to the baby’s parents RELATED
One in five child deaths in the east London area occurred because the baby’s parents were related, a report found.
A Redbridge Council health and welfare board meeting heard 19 per cent of the more than 200 infant deaths between 2008 and 2016 were ’caused by kinship’ – couples who were at least second cousins or more closely related.
The cause of death has been identified as a ‘genetic and congenital disorder’, the council said.
The council’s health boss was also told that nine percent of the children who died were from Pakistani families in the region.
According to the Ilford Recorder, Gladys Xavier, chair of the Child Mortality Review Panel (CDOP), told the board that ‘educational programs’ have been launched among the Asian community in the area, while schools have been asked to ‘a greater emphasis on genetics’ so students understand the complications. about inter-family marriage.
The paper reported Clr Joyce Ryan told the meeting that some communities were ‘having a hard time accepting’ the education programme.
Another board member said it was a ‘sensitive area’ and was being addressed as such, with the board ‘moving in the right direction’.
Meanwhile, Recorder said the board’s director of public health, Vicky Hobart, defended the statistics and said the report should not be “misunderstood”.
According to the paper, he said: ‘Relationships are very common in many cultures and the concern with something like this is that we are dealing with a very small number.
‘It’s important to pay attention to trends but we shouldn’t read them too much.’