Maria’s leap of faith on TV warms hearts across nation

by Sylvia Pownall

A mother of three who proposed to her partner on live television at the weekend says she is still coming back down to earth.

Footage of Maria Kelly went viral after she went down on one knee to pop the question to Bryan Geraghty on Leap Day, February 29 – on live television.

Wearing her heart on her sleeve for the nation to see, brave Maria – from Portmarnock – allowed cameras from Virgin Media’s Ireland AM follow her fate.

She told Dublin Gazette: “I wasn’t expecting the level of reaction I’ve had. You see an entirely different kind of warmth to people, it’s really lovely.”

Maria’s plan began with Ireland AM presenter Laura Woods surprising Bryan in the family home in Swords, telling him Maria had won a competition on the show.

An unsuspecting Bryan was then led into the living room where he found a decidedly nervous Maria waiting for him down on one knee and clutching a ring.

She told him: “You’ve captivated me from day one. You interested me with your poker face and from day one you’ve excited me. We’ve shared memories, we’ve shared trips, we’ve even had children and we’ve made a beautiful home.

“And I want to spend the rest of my life with you.

“Will you do me the honour of being my husband?”

Bryan lost no time in replying “absolutely” before the couple’s three children, Cassia (10), Olivia (3), and one-year-old Layla joined them.

Maria admitted that she had found it difficult to keep her secret. She said: “It was hard to keep a lid on it.

“I just told my immediate family and a few colleagues, and I told my eldest daughter that morning, so she helped me out.

“I was a bit naïve and wanted it to be romantic, hence an original helicopter idea, but that didn’t go ahead [due to storm Jorge].”

Maria says she’s had messages from former school pals she hasn’t seen in years, and support from family friends as far away as Bermuda and Australia.

But she’s in no hurry to set a date just yet, although she has set her sights on some jewellery to seal the deal.

She revealed: “It’s very early doors. It’s been such a build up for me trying to organise it that I needed to take a breather.

“But a ring is the next thing on my list.”

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