Many years ago there was an advertising slogan which claimed that “Love stories begin in Zhivago”. But with the Irish having been declared some of the most romantic in Europe in a recent survey, Dungloe must now rank up there as the “Romance Capital” of Europe.
Last weekend the extremely personable Debbie Rodgers, the reigning Mary from Dungloe was doing her usual work in McElwee’s Pharmacy on the town’s Main St. when her boyfriend teacher, Patrick O’Donnell dropped in to see her.
Thinking nothing of it as Patrick is a regular visitor to the shop, Debbie got the surprise of her life when Patrick placed a tape recorder on the counter which blasted out Lady Antebellum’s ‘Can’t take my eyes off you’ at full volume, bringing the normally busy shop to a standstill.
“I really didn’t know what was going on but before I knew it he was down on his knees and grappling for some thing in his pocket!,” Debbie explained. “He produced this beautiful diamond ring which he had gone out and picked himself and asked me to be his wife!
“I was absolutely shocked and I still am. I’m still getting my head around it but of course the answer was yes much to the delight and maybe, relief of everyone in the shop.
“The whole thing was just so amazing - I met Patrick in the shop last year just after I had been crowned Mary from Dungloe and we became good friends and started to go out with each other.
“We had discussed getting engaged but I sincerely mean it that I was shocked and of course over the moon - I just didn’t expect it so soon or indeed the way it happened.
“Patrick is a teacher up in the Rosses Community School and you never know we could end up working together in years to come.
“Word has obviously got around like wildfire and everybody has been great but I wish they would stop calling me ‘Mrs. Mary’!”.