An 'ice' surprise as proposal in penguin enclosure melts hearts

IT was a case of love in the third degree - or minus three degrees even - as a romantic proposal in the Gentoo penguin enclosure took everyone by surprise in Dingle Oceanworld on Saturday.

The happy couple, Gemma Ryan and Louise Burgess, melted hearts as Louise got down on bended knee on the ice to propose to her partner surrounded by the Dingle aquarium's penguins.

"I had been planning the proposal to Gemma for a while," Louise told The Kerryman afterwards.

"I had actually picked the underwater tunnel but when I told the staff what I had planned they were very helpful and suggested the penguin enclosure."

"When I was told that we would be allowed go in with the penguins for the proposal of course I jumped at the opportunity as Gemma is obsessed with penguins!" added Louise.

According to Suzanne Murtagh of Dingle Oceanworld, the staff has no idea that the proposal was going to take place until moments before Gemma and Louise arrived.

"We asked them if they'd like to see the penguins and Louise proposed to Gemma just after the penguins had their 4pm feed!" Suzanne told The Kerryman.

The story has a happy ending as Gemma accepted Louise's proposal of marriage - and, not surprisingly, it is the first marriage proposal to take place in the enclosure since the penguins arrival in Dingle.

The newly engaged couple paid another visit to Dingle Oceanworld on Sunday where they were duly congratulated on their pending nuptials before heading back to their home in Dublin.


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