Local reaches final of NZ travel competition

A LOCAL woman living in New Zealand, who shared the story of how she met her boyfriend, won a place in the final of a travel competition which offered the prize of a trip home.

A LOCAL woman living in New Zealand, who shared the story of how she met her boyfriend, won a place in the final of a travel competition which offered the prize of a trip home.

Angela Mullin from Blackrock secured 145 votes in Discover Ireland's 'An Affair with Ireland' travel competition, enough to guarantee her a spot among the top 15 finalists.

The print journalist impressed the judges with her funny, well-written story about how she met her Kiwi boyfriend, Luke.

In her competition entry, Angela wrote: "Our eyes met across a pile of dictionaries as I corrected his stray apostrophes. He was a reporter, I was a sub, we went on many after work trips to the pub.

"I was from Ireland, he was a Kiwi who'd been to Dublin on his OE. He told me his tales from the Emerald Isle. His sense of humour made me smile.

"We went for a drink on St Patrick's Day. Guinness flowed and sense got away. I wore my 'Kiss me, I'm Irish' hat - he got the hint. And that was that."

She added that the last time she acted on impulse and followed her heart, she packed her bags, threw caution to the wind and ended up in New Zealand in 2008, in search of adventure.

Unfortunately, Angela didn't win the top prize, which was snapped up by Kiwi natives and recently married childhood sweethearts, Moka and Kylie.

Angela was keen to win the trip to Ireland because she wants to introduce Luke to her family and friends in Dundalk. She would also like for him to experience the real Ireland.

"I want him to meet my family and friends; to stand on the magnificent Giant's Causeway on the Antrim coast; to kiss the Blarney Stone (not that he needs the gift of the gab); to raise a pint and say 'slinte' (cheers) with the locals in a tiny pub on the Aran Islands and experience the warmth, humour and craic that is unique to Ireland," she wrote.

Angela described her dream day in Ireland as starting with a "delicious Irish fry-up" and taking part in the Fr Ted Festival on the Aran Islands, off the coast of Galway next month.

"It might not be conventionally romantic but the craic would be mighty. After laughing until our bellies hurt, we would find a cosy restaurant and have some Irish stew," she said.

l Angela Mullin and her boyfriend, Luke