NOTRE Dame-mad football fan, Christopher Reed Heim (27), from Texas, sacrificed one of the most important fixtures of the US sporting calendar when his team took on Navy at the Aviva Stadium at the weekend.
Instead, he decided to surprise his girlfriend, Rachel Ann McGuinness, by driving her to Kylemore Abbey in Connemara and proposing.
"We get lots of proposals here in Kylemore every year," said marketing manager Brid Connell. "It's kind of known as the most romantic castle in Ireland.
"Rachel had had a poster of Kylemore Abbey in her classroom since she was ten, and she always wanted to get there," explained Mrs Connell.
"They were coming over for the game and didn't think they would have time. To surprise her, they got a car and drove down to the abbey.
"Christopher said Saturday's match was one of the best matches of his life but part of the reason for missing it was to show Rachel she was his passion, not just football." The happy couple are pictured above at the abbey.