Primary School Teacher Miss Sinead Guiney, (representing Avondhu Macra Club, Co. Cork), was crowned International Miss Macra 2016, at the close of the 45th International Miss Macra Festival, held in the Anner Hotel, Thurles, Co. Tipperary, last night.
Miss Josephine O’Dwyer (representing South Co. Tipperary), achieved second place, while Miss Aileen Sheehan (representing Muskerry Macra Club, Co. Cork) achieved third place.
The names of the winners were publicly announced following a Banquet in the Four Star Anner Hotel, Dublin Road, Thurles, Co. Tipperary last night; in front of a record crowd of some 250 guests; marking the conclusion of this year’s 3 day successful farming festival. Musical entertainment at the Sunday night Gala Banquet was provided by Tipperary popular band ‘Silver Dollar’.
Following the judges final decision last night, Miss Guiney was presented with a specially designed Sterling Silver Tiara, embellished with Cubic Zirconia, designed and hand crafted by Michael Carew Jewellers, West Gate, Thurles. Miss Willis also was presented with the Perpetual Silver International Miss Macra Trophy, (Fitzgibbon Perpetual Cup), together with a beautiful piece of Galway Crystal and a bouquet of flowers by Festival Chairperson Miss Anne Marie Lyng, and Festival Secretary’s Miss Eibhlis Maher and Miss Simone Loughman respectively. A cash prize of €1000, sponsored by the Anner Hotel, was presented by one of the joint owners of the establishment, Mr Michael Maher (Managing Director).
Second placed, Miss Josephine O’Dwyer, received a specially commissioned piece of Galway Crystal and a cash prize of €500, while Miss Aileen Sheehan, judged a close third, also received a piece of Galway Crystal and €300 in prize money.
Previously, that morning all International Miss Macra 2016 contestants had 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, field event.
This year saw twenty-two contestants, each chosen by their respective Macra Clubs, taking part in this year’s 45th International Miss Macra Festival. Given the very difficult task of selecting this year’s “International Miss Macra 2016” winners were:- Joan Pollard Carew, (Representing Main Sponsors Michael Carew Jewellers, West Gate, Thurles); Geraldine Henchion, (Representing Tipp FM, Tipperary’s No 1 Local Radio Station); & Declan Ryan, (President of the Clonoulty/Rossmore Macra Club).
The enormous success of this year’s festival, which attracted record crowds, is due completely to the hard work of all the Clonoulty / Rossmore Macra members, who undertook the precise planning and organising of this year’s festival on a completely voluntary basis, under the strong leadership of Miss Anne Marie Lyng (Chairperson). Other speakers at the event included Mr Ger Griffin (Munster Vice President of Macra Na Feirme), Mrs Joan Pollard Carew (Spokesperson for the Sponsors), Mr Declan Ryan (Spokesperson for the judges) and Miss Susan Willis (Outgoing 2015 Int. Miss Macra Winner).
Also speaking at the Gala Banquet, Miss Anne Marie Lyng (Festival Chairperson) was high in her praise for the outgoing 2015 winner and runners-up. She stated that “last year’s winners Miss Willis, Miss Julie Muldowney and Miss Helen Hayes, over the past year, had shown total dedication in their promotion of Macra principals and Macra Clubs, throughout the length and breadth of Ireland and abroad.”
The International Miss Macra Festival 2016 event is understood to have attracted some €300,000 into the local Tipperary economy, in tourism product; promoted by a committee whose ages range from the oldest just 29 and youngest a mere 24 years of age. Club profits from this well organised event will be fully invested in next year’s International Festival, thus further ensuring its security and success into the future.