The very lovely Miss Aileen Hennessey, representing Cork / Muskerry Macra, has been crowned International Miss Macra 2012, at a Champagne Banquet, in Ireland’s answer to Downton Abbey, the luxurious Dundrum House Hotel, Dundrum, Co Tipperary, last night.
Aileen now brings to seven, the number of times Cork has won this event in the 41 years of this festival, making them the county to have won this festival the most times.
Runners up in this year’s competition, respectively, were Miss Emma Jayne Earls representing Tyrone, and Miss Clodagh Barnwell representing Dublin.
Last year’s specially commissioned, Miss Macra Sterling Silver Tiara, embellished with Cubic Zirconia, was presented by Michael’s Jewellers, here in Thurles, thus celebrating this Festival’s 41st anniversary.
Speaking on behalf of Michael’s Jewellers, Mrs Joan Pollard Carew, one of three judges at this year’s Macra festival stated, quote: “I am honoured to be here with you tonight and privileged to address you. Macra is close to my heart and especially this prestigious festival. Now that the festival is at the beginning of a new decade it is inspiring to see a new young committee at the helm. When I first came to this festival as a sponsor most of the committee were young gentlemen, today it is “girl power,” all the way. Miss Eileen Leamy broke the mould when she became the first lady Chairperson; Claire Ryan, Mary Lyng and now Annemarie Wade have been superb successors and have clearly demonstrated that women have superb leadership skills. Annemarie has just secured a teaching position in Donegal; I am delighted for her, Donegal are so lucky to gain such a wonderful young lady. I am asking you all to put a petition together to encourage Annemarie to continue to Chair this festival. As a sponsor I could never say no to this festival, as it would be like saying no to one of my children. I wish continued success to Macra and particularly this International Miss Macra festival.”
Aileen Hennessey was presented with the Perpetual Silver Macra Trophy, together with the specially commissioned Perpetual Tiara, a cash prize of €1000 and a Tipperary Crystal trophy sponsored by Dundrum House Hotel.
First Runner up, Emma Jayne Earls received a specially commissioned piece of Tipperary Crystal and a cash prize of €500, while the second Runner up, Clodagh Barnwell, received a specially commissioned piece of Tipperary Crystal and a cash prize of €300, sponsored by Tipperary Co-Op.
Due to the very high standard of the girl’s competing in this year’s event, the festival judges described their task as being the most difficult they had yet undertaken.
As we had forecast, the 2012 International Miss Macra Festival was a sell-out, with many supporters, who had failed to book their tickets in advance, unable to gain access to the special Macra Marquee, purposely erected as part of this truly enjoyable three day event.
Highlight of the weekend for the contestants was a visit to Coolmore Stud in Fethard, Co.Tipperary. Highlighting this visit, Clonoulty / Rossmore Chairperson Miss Annemarie Wade paid a special tribute to the staff and management, for their extreme professionalism and kindness, paid to the contestants during their guided tour of the Coolmore complex.
Following the Macra Banquet, over 300 guests danced the night away to popular bands “Arkadia,” & “No Recession,” who both provided their own very special brand of popular music. Sound & Lighting for the various weekend events were provided by Don Andrews.
One interesting point, as pointed out by Macra President Mr Alan Jago, this year’s well attended event, which was ‘superbly planned,’ from start to finish, was organised by a voluntary committee, the oldest of which is just 24 years old. Maybe there is hope for this country yet.