Friday 24 May 2019

Seán's peak proposal!

Seán O’Riordan and Ulla Dawidowska
Seán O’Riordan and Ulla Dawidowska

Maria Pepper

Wexfordman Seán O'Riordan was on top of the world after his girlfriend Ulla Dawidowska agreed to marry him when he proposed to her on the peak of Mount Leinster after a 33 kilometre climb in the annual Blackstairs Mountain Challenge on Saturday.

As Prince Harry and Meghan Markle tied the knot in Windsor,Seán and Ulla provided their own romantic interlude for the more than 200 hillwalkers who completed the challenge across the mountains from Killanure, finishing at Byrne's pub in Glynn.

It was the couple's first anniversary as they officially started going out together during last year's challenge after meeting a fortnight earlier on a hike with the Wicklow Hiking and Adventure Group, of which they are both members.

The proposal came as a big surprise, according to Ulla, a native of Bialystok in Poland, who works for water filtration company EWD in Dublin. Seán, originally from Rosslare and an airplane mechanic in Dublin Airport, walked ahead of Ulla to find a quiet area for the proposal after they reached the top of the mountain and she found him standing near a small pond of water.

'Do I have to swim over to you?' she asked him jokingly. When Ulla approached, Seán put his arms around her and talked about the wonderful year they had enjoyed together before getting down on bended knee and asking her to marry him, offering the same ring which his grandfather Seán used to propose to his grandmother Deirdre, and which his father Tomas gave to his mother Marianne when he proposed to her.

Fellow hillwalkers on the mountain top stopped to offer their congratulations at intervals along the way as they descended and later celebrated with them in Byrne's pub in Glynn. The couple, who live in Dublin, spent the night in Seafield Hotel in Gorey, where the O'Riordan family had prosecco and flowers waiting for them. The following day, there were more celebrations at the O'Riordan household in Rosslare, where the arrival home from Canada of Seán's younger brother Callum added to the happiness of the occasion. Seán's sister Megan was also there with her fiancé Alan.Ulla was the recipient of many messages of congratulations from family and friends in Poland while friends of the couple from around the world also got in touch to wish them well.

Wexford People

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