independent

Saturday 19 April 2014

A chance meeting and a near-death experience - why this Irishman proposed on national radio today

Soon-to-be-married Pat Cusack and Julie Corcoran.

A chance meeting ten years ago and a near-death experience changed Pat Cusack’s life forever and resulted in a wedding proposal today on national radio.

The fifty-one-year-old proposed to his girlfriend Julie Corcoran (36) of ten years on the airwaves this morning, recalling the moment they first met.

“Ten years ago on February 7th I was in a small art gallery in Carrickmacross in Monaghan,” he said this morning.

“I was coming out of a dark place that included alcohol, depression, and my marriage had gone with it.

“Then I saw Julie for the first time, my legs were shaking, I had butterflies in my tummy, the whole lot. I was like a teenager,” he told the John Murray Show this morning before his unsuspecting partner came on air.

One week after Pat and Julie’s five-minute chat in the art gallery, Pat was admitted to hospital as he suffered a cardiac arrest on Valentine’s Day 2004.

“The priest was called and I was asked who did I want to see,” he said.

“I have five kids but the first person I thought of was Julie. I wanted to feel the peace and solace that she brought to me that day.

“It was a new beginning with Julie, a renaissance.”

Pat & Julie Eiffel tower.jpg

Newly-engaged Pat and Julie pictured during a trip to Paris. 

The couple stayed together, bought the painting they admired in the gallery that day and have a six-year-old daughter Alannah now.

“I didn’t have any idea of Pat's proposal this morning,” Julie told independent.ie today.

“Pat told me to expect a call from The John Murray Show and I didn’t think too much of it. I thought it might have something to do with a competition or something.

“I was in shock. Alannah is very excited about the wedding, she wants to be a flower-girl and her sisters want to be bridesmaids.”

Julie remembers the day in the gallery because Pat “was well able to talk” about the painting they were looking at. And she said she didn’t think it was unusual Pat requested to see her when he was in hospital.

“My initial reaction when I got the call from the hospital was shock and worry. I wanted to get up there and see him straightaway,” she said.

“I asked him had he heard of Coldplay and he hadn’t so I brought the album up to him.

“Pat’s story is amazing, but I didn’t expect it to create such a big reaction. It really tells people to just take a chance,” she continued.

“I remember that day in the art gallery so well. Pat is a funny guy and a constant ray of sunshine. He is someone you wouldn’t forget when you meet him.”

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