29 Jun 2022

Column: Who needs the Eiffel Tower, eh? Sure we’ve got Kilkenny Castle!

Darren Hassett writing in this week's Kilkenny People...

Handing over of Kilkenny Castle 50 years ago a seminal moment in county

Kilkenny Castle

Long before you can afford to actually pay for an engagement ring, you might find yourself giving some thought to where you would pop the question.

This is the situation I find myself in presently. I’m a long way off being able to afford the jewellery, with plenty of time to decide on where I’ll ask her to marry me.

There are a multitude of places chosen every day for these seminal moments in people’s lives.

It might be that some men, or women, settle for their mother’s kitchen, nothing wrong with that at all, and then there are others who will whisk himself/herself away for an impromptu weekend trip to Paris.

He/she will casually suggest a trip to the Eiffel Tower...sure that’s what all tourists do, a perfectly orchestrated plan, albeit a bit clichéd.

All valiant and romantic efforts nonetheless. But have you considered Kilkenny...because other people would appear to be coming here to get down on one knee.

I know a man from Ruislip in the UK, going out with a girl from Carlow, both of whom are living in Melbourne, Australia. This man decided to propose to his girlfriend at none other than, Kilkenny Castle. It’s the perfect backdrop.

The only risk you take is the mercurial weather Ireland is subjected to. Even if it rains, sure that only makes it more memorable, depending on your outlook. So, even the worst case scenarios are romantic.

You’ve got everything you’d want from a proposal location and it’s also a place to tie the knot too, so be sure to get that in nice and early.

Lots of hotels offering really good deals. But getting back to the proposal, I’ve also heard recently of this couple from Texas.

During a whirlwind 24-hour trip, the boyfriend proposed to his girlfriend at the fountain on the grounds of Kilkenny Castle.

It was the most perfect occasion. And guess what, it rained too. They even got an Irish blessing of a timely shower of rain.
Kilkenny Castle might be a hidden gem for engagements.

Albeit, I only know of two cases, but surely that’s a good indicator of there being more. Many of us may not view Kilkenny as the romantic getaway for surreptitious proposal plans, but it is for some.

And why shouldn’t it be? Great restaurants and pubs to go and celebrate afterwards.

I’m not going to propose in Kilkenny. I won’t be needing the Eiffel Tower neither.

I’m leaning towards a more sentimental location, a place I won’t be disclosing here - although I can confirm it’s not my mother’s kitchen.

Anyway, that’s a few years away yet, despite heaps of family pressure coming on. That’s the other side of engagements and weddings...

But ignore the snide comments and questions around when you’re going to get married. Ignore the bags of children’s clothes his/her sister is leaving in your attic.

Head into these chapters in your life when the pair of you are good and ready. When it does come around for me, Kilkenny is a place I’d like to get married in.

Genuinely, the castle is up there with places like the Rock of Cashel for idyllic backgrounds in those wedding pictures your parents hang in their sitting room.

The location and all that goes with the celebrations won’t be my decision anyway. I mean it’ll be a decision we’ll make together, of course. That’s provided she says yes. Who knows, maybe she’ll ask me first, in the rain, next to a romantic fountain.

Who needs the Eiffel Tower, eh? Sure we’ve got Kilkenny Castle.

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