A casual conversation in the Waterfront Hotel on Friday night led to a very romantic finale to this year's Mary from Dungloe Festival.
The well known Joe O'Donnell, a multi-media entrepreneur revealed to the Democrat after quite an interrogation, that he was thinking of popping the question to his love of over two years, Shauna Keane.
Of course the lights started to go on and suggestions of proposing live on IRISH TV before the winner was announced, or indeed maybe on bended knees as the fireworks went off on the town's Main St. were mooted.
Unlike the original Mary from Dungloe's tale of unrequited love, this was very much the real thing.
Joe told the Democrat, “I know it sounds like a cliche but it really was love at first sight.
“The company was expanding and I needed help and who was one of the first to apply than Shauna. As soon as I laid eyes on her I didn't care if she could type or do shorthand - you can teach people how to do most things in life, but you can never teach them to be beautiful people. From the moment I met her, I knew she was the woman for me," he said.
“Dungloe has always held a special place in my heart and having worked with the festival for the last number of years, what better place could you find?”
It was finally agreed that Joe would go down on bended knee, ring in hand and ask for his now fiancée's hand in marriage in front of all the Marys, Daniel O'Donnell, Malachai Cush and both their mothers and friends.
The only problem was how to keep all this a secret from this beautiful Sligo lady. Martina Diver one of the festival organisers soon came to the rescue.
All the Marys and their escorts and families were ushered into the ballroom under the guise that Joe was going to receive an award for his great work for with the festival over the years. Thankfully Martina she bought it.
Joe had everything organised to a tee - his mother, Angela and daughter, Kyra were there, as was Shauna's brother, Darren and sisters Ciara and Ashling. The only thing was that nobody knew why they were there!!
As soon as Shauna arrived in the room, Joe was on his knees, with this massive chunk of a diamond much to the amazement of the packed ballroom.
It was a roller-coaster of emotion - tears of joy poured like a tsunami - this was the surprise that really worked.
Afterwards Shauna told the Democrat, “I'm over the moon - mind you I had a sneaking suspicion that something was going to happen, but had not got a clue that I was going to end up engaged.
“This has really been the perfect end to a really great week in Dungloe.”
Daniel O'Donnell was one of the first to congratulate the happy couple joking, “I suppose I'm going to have to change the name of my big hit now to “I want to dance with you ......forever!!”
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