Dub Paul gets result at Croker showdown
IT WAS a marriage made in GAA heaven. The sky-blue of Dublin and the blue and gold of Tipperary came together in front of 43,563 cheering spectators in Croke Park yesterday.
To the delight of fans, Dubliner Paul Coughlan took his courage in his hands and asked his Tipperary girlfriend Catherine Heffernan to marry him.
It was the first time Dublin had been in a hurling semi-final since 1948 so Mr Coughlan could be forgiven for thinking he might not get the chance at such an occasion again.
With the help of radio presenter and stadium MC Hector Ó hEochagáin, Paul popped the question in spectacularly confident fashion.
It was being beamed live on the big screens around the ground so it was no time to get a refusal.
With the cameras trained on Catherine, the crowd held its breath as she was reduced to a fit of giggles.
In the end, it was left to Hector to coax an answer and much to the relief of all concerned it was a 'Yes'.
Croker erupted in cheering as the couple dutifully stood up and kissed to seal the deal.
If the newly engaged couple ever need pointers on the secret to a harmonious marriage, they might take advice from Philip and Kathleen Coventry.
With 35 years of matrimony behind them, they sported Dublin and Tipp colours, cheering on opposing teams yesterday.
"I've gone to loads of big matches with Tipperary in them but this was the first time with Dublin in it," Philip said, admitting there were moments of tension before Tipperary overcame his home county in a thriller to set up a final against Kilkenny.
"We shook hands before we left the house," he laughed, adding that he never thought he'd see the day when he and his future wife would be sitting side by side at an All-Ireland semi-final.
Kathleen said she was certain the result would not lead to any disharmony in their marriage. "We would have always won anyway."