Miss Eibhlis Maher (International Miss Macra festival PRO), reports:-
Miss Susan Willis, representing Co. Carlow was crowned International Miss Macra 2015, at the close of the 44th International Miss Macra Festival, which took place over the August Bank Holiday weekend.
Miss Julie Muldowney, representing Co. Kilkenny, achieved second place, while Miss Helen Hayes representing North Tipperary, was awarded third position.
The names of the winners were announced at that enchanting hour of midnight, when a rare eerie silence descended on the Ballroom in Dundrum House Hotel, marking the conclusion of this year’s festival and where the Macra Gala Banquet had taken place earlier that evening.
Miss Susan Willis was presented with a specially-made Sterling Silver Tiara, embellished with cubic Zirconia, designed and hand crafted by Michael’s Jewellers Thurles, marking the 40th anniversary of International Miss Macra Festival. Miss Willis also was proudly presented with the Perpetual Silver International Miss Macra Trophy, courtesy of Dundrum House Hotel management, together with a piece of Galway Crystal and a cash prize of €1000.
The second placed, Miss Julie Muldowney, received a specially commissioned piece of Galway Crystal and a cash prize of €500, while Miss Helen Hayes, adjudged a close third, also received a piece of Galway Crystal and €300 prize money.
A record over two hundred and forty people sat to dine at the five course Gala Banquet on Sunday evening last, held in the luxurious Dundrum House Hotel, thus concluding this year’ most successful festival to date.
Previously, that morning all International Miss Macra 2015 contestants attended mass in the local parish church in Clonoulty-Rossmore and afterwards togged-out to prove their worth by taking part in a sports day.
Musical entertainment on the Sunday night was provided by the band ‘The Guest Band’ followed by Ireland’s No 1 favourite DJ, ‘Don Andrews’.
This year saw twenty-two contestants, each chosen by their Macra Clubs, took part in the 44th International Miss Macra Festival.
The enormous success of this year’s festival, which attracted record crowds, is due completely to the hard work of all Clonoulty / Rossmore Macra members, who undertook the precise planning and organising of this festival on a completely voluntary basis, under the leadership of Mr Donnacha Ryan (Chairperson). Indeed, speaking on behalf of this year’s sponsors Mrs Joan Pollard Carew (Michaels Jewellers, Friar Street, Thurles) strongly recommended that the Clonoulty / Rossmore committee should immediately take over from our present government, so successful were the formers efforts in the promoting of rural Ireland, its heritage, tourism and valued traditions.
In relinquishing her last year’s title, the former International Miss Macra winner of 2014, Miss Brid Cooney, stated “What an amazing 12 months it has been representing Macra na Féirme, Avondhu Macra and Clonoulty Rossmore Macra as International Miss Macra 2014. Thanks you all for the opportunity, it has been absolutely fantastic meeting all of this year’s contestants. You’re a fantastic bunch of ladies and did yourselves and your Counties / Clubs proud. It therefore gives me great pleasure to pass on the coveted crown to Miss Susan Willis of Carlow Macra and I hope and trust that you have a brilliant year while promoting the Macra na Féirme gospel! Warmest congratulations to the overall winners and those taking part – winners all.”
Speaking at the Gala Banquet, Mr Donnacha Ryan (Festival Chairperson) stated that “Miss Brid Cooney’s past year, as 43rd International Miss Macra 2014, was one of total dedication in the promotion of Macra principals and Macra Clubs throughout the length and breadth of Ireland and abroad.”