New Orleans Rose Molly Molloy Gambel has made history – after accepting a wedding proposal live on Irish national television at the Kerry festival.

A shocked Molly eventually said yes after college sweetheart Kyle Catlett popped the question in the first live proposal at the world famous Rose of Tralee.

Catlett went down on one knee with his very own ‘Ring of Kerry’ in front of a bewildered Molly and a packed audience on the opening night of the 2013 festival.

The 23-year-old stepped out of the crowd to ask his girlfriend to marry him 18 months after they started dating.

Molly initially said ‘no, no, no’ as she struggled to understand what was happening and TV producers feared the worst.

But once she regained her composure, she readily accepted.

The University of Alabama graduate later told the Irish Examiner that her initial delay was because of her complete surprise at the question.

She said: “The tears were flowing, I had no idea whatsoever.

“I only said 'no' because I was so shocked. I couldn't believe this was happening on TV going live to the nation as well as overseas and all my friends were watching.

“I had no inkling Kyle planned to propose. Even winning the Rose of Tralee now would not beat the emotion of the proposal, although it would be up there.

“I couldn't even breathe, the tears just started flowing. I was so excited, I could not believe this was happening.”

The paper says the proposal is the first engagement ever to take place during a Rose of Tralee broadcast and follows the 1993 engagement of another New Orleans Rose whose boyfriend popped the question behind the scenes.

The report also reveals how couple have a less than romantic first date to thank for helping it to happen.

The Irish Examiner reveals how, after he broke his leg riding a mechanical bull in early 2012, Kyle called Molly to ask if she could bring him to the nearest hospital emergency department – just days after they had first met.
Here's the RTE coverage of the propsal at the Rose of Tralee festival in Kerry:

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