Who says Irish men are not romantic?

A Crossbarry man has struck a blow for the Irish male, often maligned as not having a spark of romance.

After months of planning and some good will from Cork City Council, lovestruck Damien Cuffe decided he needed to inject some bling into the moment he would ask his girlfriend of two years, Yvonne, to marry him.

He certainly got the wow factor on Friday night when, after a carefully choreographed procedure, he led Yvonne into a darkened Bishop Lucey Park. With a quick signal, a flick was switched to reveal the Tír na Nóg ‘faery’ village bathed in light.

Damien even had a song specially composed for the event which accompanied the light show. Before Yvonne knew where she was, she saw Damien down on one knee with the ring waiting.

“I’d be fairly romantic by nature anyway and I suppose the random nature of it is me, too. I suppose I thought if I was asking her I should go big or go home so I went all out for it,” said Damien.

The 30-year-old plumber from Crossbarry had been dating Yvonne Lehane, also 30, from Clonakilty for two years after meeting on a blind date set up by their mutual friend and singer/songwriter Kees Hendrick.

After getting Kees to write a song for the event, he spent months meeting with Cork City Council, which manages Glow, A Cork Christmas Celebration. The event organisers were happy to let the couple have exclusive access to the park at 8.15pm on Friday.

“The council were great, I have to say. I went to them and they just said ‘no trouble’. We had a load of meetings and organised it for 8.15pm. Fiona Browne from the council was there and she just let on like she was a customer of mine.

“She just said to Yvonne to go in if she wanted a look around. So in she went, turned the corner, and they hit the switch. She turned around and there I was on one knee,” Damien said.

After admitting she was “flabbergasted” by the whole event, Damien said the couple have no date set for the wedding yet, but he may have a few things up his sleeve for that occasion as well.

“We have no date yet. She’s still coming to terms with the story being all over the papers and the radio but I have one or two things planned. I’m keeping them well under wraps though,” he said.

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