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Bovine Butters bears udderly romantic proposal


A MOO...VING PROPOSAL How Cork councillor Declan Hurley proposed to his wife-to-be Catherine Biggs who grew up on Clare Island.


Áine Ryan

0907 couple 500YOU could say that Catherine was like the cat who got the cream, except it was Butters the cow who was ready to turn the udder cheek when her owner, Cllr Declan Hurley decided to use his bovine beauty as a prop for his proposal. And the fact that Ms Biggs – a make-up artist on such blockbusters as Mad Max, The Great Gatsby and Australia – grew up on Clare Island where she regularly put ‘warm milk’ straight from the cow onto her cornflakes, there wasn’t going to be any bulls**t in her response to the big question by Co Cork’s former mayor, Declan Hurley.
Well, that is, after she nearly collapsed from laughter.  While on an early morning walk around his farm in Dunmanway recently, she saw the big green letters pleading: “Will you marry me?”    
Even though Declan Hurley was re-elected as an Independent councillor in the Skibbereen electoral area last May, let’s call a spade a spade: there was nothing politically correct about this proposal and nobody really wants to ask where exactly the ring may have been secreted.
Anyway, speaking to The Mayo News yesterday, Catherine Biggs reminded us of her rural pedigree and how she moved from Dublin to Clare Island with her family when she was aged ten.  
“I was a little young to milk cows as there weren’t too many cows in Dublin Four but we all got stuck in and loved farm life. I do remember putting warm milk straight from the cow on to the cornflakes as we were too impatient to let it cool down. Learning to make butter with our neighbour, [the late Bernie Winters] and helping to get sheep onto the boats was all in a day’s work. It absolutely gave me my love for all things rural, having absolute freedom on the island, learning about the weather and being immersed in all things west of Ireland,” she said.
So what is the Cork connection? Catherine’s mum, Angela is from Dunmanway, while her late Dad, Jim was a Dublin native. After a ten-year stint working in the film industry in Australia, Catherine returned home a couple of years ago and began pursuing her love of all things artistic at CIT. On a visit to her Mum last July, she was hanging out at the stall that Angela was supervising at the Dunmanway Agricultural Show when Declan appeared. The rest is history.
Whether Butters will be a guest-of-honour at the nuptials remains a mo..oo..ot point but one thing is for sure, the tail of this proposal will be milked in every parlour and barn for the foreseeable future.