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BBC NI sports presenter Joel Taggart gets engaged

By Allan Preston

For BBC Northern Ireland presenter Joel Taggart, 2017 couldn't have got off to a happier start.

On Sunday night, the news and sports broadcaster had a rare exclusive as he revealed his own engagement on Twitter.

After a stay at the Carton House resort near Dublin he posted pictures with the understated message: "Another great weekend at Carton House. By the way, she said yes!"

Along with a picture of the happy couple and the customary close up of the engagement ring, friends and colleagues were quick to pass on their congratulations.

Not letting him forget his day job just yet, one friend commented: "Congratulations Joel. Delighted she said yes but what's her opinion on the Ryan Catney sending-off? Very harsh I thought."

Another wrote: "Congratulations, great news! We can analyse your proposal technique tomorrow morning on the show."

He replied: "I think we've enough to be getting on with this week."

Continuing the sporting theme another added: "Joel engaged and (motorbike racer) Guy Martin throwing his leg back over a bike, great start to 2017."

In a reference to two nearby championship golf courses, another friend joked: "Was the question 'Is it okay if I play the O'Meara and the Monty course tomorrow'?"

With thoughts inevitably already leading to the big day one well wisher offered his services. "Congratulations Joel. If you need transport for the wedding you can use my tractor."

Last year the sports presenter took over from broadcasting legend Jackie Fullerton as the main commentator for Northern Ireland football games as Michael O'Neill's men reached the finals of Euro 2016 in France for the first time in history.

In recent years the broadcaster, who describes himself as a "frustrated golfer", has also been behind the microphone to cover major events including the Olympic and Commonwealth Games, the Open Championship, Ryder Cup and Irish Open.

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