BY JACKIE KEOGH
BRIGHT and early on Monday morning, Cllr Declan Hurley painted a proposal on a cow. She said ‘yes’ – his girlfriend that is, not the cow.
Declan, who was re-elected as an Independent councillor in the Skibbereen electoral area in May, met his intended – Catherine Biggs – at Dunmanway Agricultural Show on July 1st 2018.
Declan admits he was smitten when he first met Catherine, and thought it would be highly appropriate to propose in a field, on their anniversary.
They met at what was the end of a very busy and hectic year for Declan as county mayor, but within a week they discovered they shared so many connections, it smacked of serendipity.
Catherine is from Mayo, but she had worked away from home a lot because, for 15 years, she was employed as a hair and make-up artist on movie and TV sets, including a 10-year stint in Australia.
The reason she was in Dunmanway was to visit her mother, Angela, who is a native of the town, but had only returned home three years before. Joking that theirs might be some sort of cosmically arranged marriage, they shared the news with The Southern Star that Catherine’s grandfather Jack Cadogan and Declan’s grandfather Dan Hurley had been life-long friends.
Catherine was amazed, too, when she discovered that Declan can see her mother’s house from his own home, and that he had regularly visited her grandmother.
But on Monday morning Catherine got the biggest surprise of all when, after milking, Declan suggested that they walk around the farm.
There in big green writing – on the side of Butters, a cow that Declan’s Instagram followers will know is one of his favourites – was the question: ‘Will you marry me?’
When she saw it, Catherine said: ‘I couldn’t stop laughing.’ Declan confirmed that he was about to go down on one knee, but it was Catherine who, weak with laughter, started to buckle. Of course, she said ‘yes.’ Declan said: ‘I have known for a long time that Catherine was the one, and that our anniversary would be the perfect time to propose’ As for the wedding, that, too, might be on July 1st – in 2020.