Local TD to tie knot with football star

It wasn’t the most traditional engagement announcement.

It wasn’t the most traditional engagement announcement.

But when Kildare South Fine Gael TD Martin Heydon popped the question to his long-term girlfriend, Kildare ladies football star Brianne Leahy, last Friday, he took to Twitter to spread the good news.

“Got down on one knee today and Brianne said yes. Friday 13th, lucky for some... #happydays,” tweeted the delighted Deputy.

The south Kildare pair met for the first time four years ago at a Heineken Cup Final in Cardiff, even though their home places near Athy are just 15 minutes apart. “We met through friends. I would have known who she was through the GAA, but she didn’t know who I was,” said the St Laurences man.

They are hoping to wed next summer, although both are busy work-wise.

All-Star Brianne, 30, has just qualified as a pharmacist, studying as a mature student in Aberdeen. She is finishing a stint working in Belfast, as well as turning out for the Kildare ladies. Her 33-year-old fiancee topped the poll for Fine Gael in Kildare South in the last general election.

The Deputy is coy on the exact details of the proposal, just saying: “Those who know us half expected it, but at the same time I tried to surprise her and do it when she wasn’t expecting it.”

- Laura Coates