Young people have been enjoying membership of Macra in Clonoulty/Rossmore Co Tipperary since 1950, however back then it was called Clonoulty and District Young Farmers Club. It was not until 1972 that Tom Horan suggested the idea of a Miss Macra festival. With the assistance of the late Sean Fitzgibbon, Manager of the Premier Hall in Thurles, so began the Miss Macra Festival, now one of the longest surviving and successful festivals in Ireland and certainly the longest running in Co. Tipperary.
Today a specially commissioned, Sterling Silver Tiara, embellished with cubic zirconia, was unveiled by Michael’s Jewellers,Thurles, in conjunction with their Silversmith Chris Osburne, to celebrate the Festival’s 40th anniversary.
“The Tiara is modelled as a crown with Celtic spirals and a heart. In Celtic times the spirals were believed to symbolise balance, initiation, awareness, connection journeying, development and knowledge. The heart is a well known symbol of love and commitment. These two very strong symbols married together in this sterling silver Tiara will be the perfect crown for the winner of the prestigious title of International Miss Macra for many years to come.” explains Joan Pollard Carew, one of the sponsors of this event.
Shown also in the above video clip is a Celtic Cross, one of the best known Irish or Celtic symbols, also sponsored by Michael’s Jewellers, Thurles.
The sterling silver Celtic crosses which will be presenting as tokens to each of the International Miss Macra contestants this year, have been handcrafted in Ireland and hallmarked in Dublin Castle. These crosses have Celtic knots also known as friendship knots. The knot has no visible beginning or end and this is to reminds us of the timeless nature of our spirit and the importance of friendship.
The International Miss Macra Festival begins Thursday 28th July and runs until Sunday July 31st, 2011 inclusive.