Tuesday 24 October 2017

Love and planes are in the air

Liz Donohue who proposed to Damien Murphy.
Liz Donohue who proposed to Damien Murphy.
SBach 342 air display.

Gareth Naughton

LOVE and planes were in the air yesterday.

And one particular plane was carrying a very special package -- a marriage proposal.

Liz Donohue used the occasion of the Bray Air Spectacular to get down on one knee and propose to her partner . . . but only after a plane flew by with a banner with her special question.

Liz (32) from Shankhill, Dublin, said her partner Damien Murphy was oblivious to the meticulous planning and organisation that went into the elaborate proposal.

Damien (35), from Dun Laoghaire, watched as a plane towing a sign saying "Yum, Will You Marry Me?" flew past the viewing platform at the Barracuda Restaurant on the Bray seafront.

"Yum" is Liz's pet name for him.

He said it slowly dawned on him that this particular fly-by was just for him -- and he turned around to find his girlfriend down on one knee. The happy couple were on cloud nine after he immediately accepted the proposal.

Damien said he thought they were in Bray for a meal that Liz told him she had won on Facebook.

"I thought she was up to something but not this. There was no hesitation. She knew I'd say yes," he said.

The couple met at a party two years ago and, with this being a leap year, Liz decided it was time to take the plunge. "He hadn't a clue. Since the day I met him, I always said that I would ask him to marry me. I'm a very loud person and it couldn't get any bigger or louder than the Bray air show," added Liz.

They were among the estimated 80,000 people who thronged the Co Wicklow seafront yesterday.

The crowd were treated to a two-and-a-half hour spectacle including high-octane aerobatic displays by RV8Tors, who impressed with a series of loop-the-loops and deliberate near misses.

Dave Bruton, of Midlands Aviation, whizzed across the sky in the super-fast SBach 342 -- the only one of its kind in Ireland.

And Limerick beef farmer and former RAF pilot Gerry Humphreys entertained the crowd not once but thrice in three separate aircraft including the Russian-designed Aviatika MIG -- an aircraft rarely flown outside of Russia -- and his home-built plane, the "Flying Cow".

Former Miss Ireland Rosanna Davison and her father Chris de Burgh were among those who filled the pubs, funfair and strand along the seafront for the occasion.

The day concluded with six members of the Black Knights Defence Forces' parachute team jumping out of a helicopter from 4,000 feet and floating down towards the crowd. They landed with ease on the beach to huge cheers.

Irish Independent

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News