Jay Boland of Kodaline proposes to girlfriend Eatoin Corr on stage with Ed Sheeran

The Vow

Andrea Smith: 'Why would someone need to turn a beautiful proposal into a tacky public event?'

Maybe I just have a bitter spinster heart, but when Kodaline bass player Jason Boland got down on one knee in front of 82,000 Ed Sheeran fans in Croke Park on Saturday and popped the question to girlfriend Etaoin Corr, I wanted someone to pass the sick-bag rather than the tissues.

Why would someone feel the need to turn something as special and intimate as a pledge to marry someone into a tacky public event before an audience and a bank of media cameras? How can you even focus on communicating with the girl in front of you, when you’re distracted by a chanting crowd of thousands and the eyes of your bandmates trained upon you.

And how could you say no so publicly to such a proposal, although after dating for seven years, I’m pretty sure Etaoin was in it for the long haul anyway.


I don’t know about you, but on the off-chance that someone ever gets down on bended knee to pop a sparkler on my finger, I think I’d like to be the actual star in the room, rather than Ed Sheeran, even if it was only in their eyes.

Read more: ‘Everyone says why didn’t I say no for the craic!’ - Etaoin Corr on Kodaline beau’s romantic proposal

Even so, speaking on 2fm after the event, the thrilled music publicist revealed that she always presumed her “chilled” and “quiet” fella would propose while they were sitting at home watching TV. I think I would have admired him more if he had done precisely that, even if Etaoin feels that her brand new fiancé has shown up other men with such a high-profile proposal.

This should have been Sheeran’s night to bask in the glory he had earned on the back of his talent and hard work, but the story of Ed’s triumphant debut at Croker was trumped in media reports by one flash of a glittery rock brandished by someone who was merely a guest artist on his stage.

Read more: Etaoin Corr shows off engagement ring following romantic proposal from Kodaline's Jason Boland on stage at Ed Sheeran

While he showed himself to be the ultimate good sport by setting the bassist up for it, saying, ‘Jason, you’ve something to say?’ the Thinking Out Loud star could hardly have said no when the plan was first mooted without looking like a spoilsport with a monstrous ego.

I’m not focusing my cynicism entirely on Jason, who seems like a sweet enough lad, because I’m fed up with anyone who hijacks another person’s big occasion for their own moment in the spotlight.

I’ve been at two weddings where proposals took place during the reception and were joyfully announced to the room, which in my opinion, is the height of selfishness. Making yourself the stars of the show when the ink isn’t even dry on the marriage cert of the people whose hospitality you’re enjoying is cheap and tacky.

So even if your normally reserved fiancé gets overcome by the prosecco and goes down on bended knee between the beef or salmon and profiteroles, for the love of Gawd please keep your delicious secret to yourselves and let the newlyweds have their special day. 

Read more: Fade Street star Louise Johnston lends support to good pal Ed Sheeran at Croke Park

I also don’t like people filming the reactions of their loved ones when they pop the question, just for a few likes on Facebook or YouTube. If that kind of public affirmation is more important to you than making sure that you’re getting married to the right person for the right reasons, you’re too immature to get married and should quite frankly desist.

Basically, to paraphrase the words of Ed Sheeran himself, rather than the above, true love is actually about loving someone when your hair's all gone and your memory fades, and the crowds you proposed in front of don't even remember your name!