US Department of Justice lawyer, Orla Brady, who was voted one of the most influential women by the Irish Voice, got more than she bargained for when she came to Kilkenny to receive a Certificate of Irish Heritage from the Kilkenny Gathering Committee in Rothe House on Monday.
Orla’s parents, Anita and Peter, are both Kilkenny natives. The certificate recognises the enduring emotional ties and sense of identity bestowed by Irish ancestry and Orla was selected by the committee for her achievements, pride of heritage and professional excellence.
After the presentation of the certificate, Tobias Schroeder, her partner, surprised Orla by leading her to the gardens where the Carlow/Kilkenny community orchestra played her favourite Mozart as he got down on bended knee and asked her to marry him. A nervous Tobias was delighted when Orla said yes and Orla’s proud mother Anita Hehir was on hand to steady the nerves.
Orla is an attorney at US Department of Justice in Washington. A native of Nashville, she studied at Northern Illinois University, New England School of Law in Boston, and at Trinity College Dublin. She has visited Ireland frequently over the years and has strong ties to her parents’ native Kilkenny.
Mayor Martin Brett and council chairman Pat Dunphy were both present to say a few words as Orla was presented with her certificate of Irish heritage in Rothe House, as was Rosemary Collier, chairperson of the Kilkenny Gathering Committee, County Manager Joe Crockett and representatives of the Gathering Committee.