It’s that time of year again – when Dungloe becomes an exciting hub of activity for the Mary from Dungloe Festival.
This year’s festival has had a makeover and become an International Arts Festival with more music events and more cultural offerings for all ages.
The 2019 Crowning Cabaret is just days away, as attention turns to the ‘Marys’ to see who will take this year’s crown from reigning Mary from Dungloe Caroline O’ Donnell.
The pageant finale will be televised live on Sunday, 4th August from 8:30pm on TG4.
Hosted and presented by local international singing star Daniel O’Donnell, the competition will feature 14 hopeful Marys from around the world who will take part in interviews and some showcasing their party pieces.
In the end, the one who best embodies the spirit of the festival shall be crowned ‘Mary from Dungloe’ 2019.
The late Dawn Croke will be in the hearts and minds of many festivalgoers this year. The Rosses schoolteacher and mother-of-two, who was the Dungloe Mary in 2008, died in a tragic accident in January at the age of 33.
This year’s contestants are an ambitious group of young women from a variety of careers and study fields.
The Dungloe Mary is Breena Boyle (19), a student of Tourism & Hospitality at LYIT, Killybegs. Breena works locally at the Lobster Pot in Burtonport and is the current leader of the award-winning Keadue Band.
Donegal Mary Hannah O’Donnell has some star connections, as she is the niece of singer Enya. Hannah is from Falcarragh and is a student of Children Studies with Psychology and Irish at NUIG.
India Mary Anila Devasia (27) is the first contestant to ever compete in the competition without Donegal heritage. The rules were relaxed for 2019 to allow women who do not have Donegal relatives to compete.
Anila was born in India and moved to Donegal two years ago. She is a nurse at Dungloe Community Hospital. She represents a move towards greater diversity in the Mary from Dungloe pageant.
Award-winning journalist Catherine Sanz has returned to Dungloe 20 years after winning the Little Miss pageant in 1999. This time, she is competing as the Miami Mary and is chronicling the experience in reports and on social media.
We can look forward to Sunday’s Crowning Cabaret to hear from these and all the competing Marys in their Q&As with Daniel O’Donnell. Who will take the crown and be paraded down Dungloe Main Street at midnight?
The 2019 Mary from Dungloe Contestants:
Chicago – Molly Carroll
Sponsored by Landview Excavating Inc.
New York – Roísín Maher
Sponsored by Glenveigh Contracting & International Framer
Donegal – Hannah O’Donnell
Sponsored by The Cope, Dungloe
Glasgow – Mairéad Nic Giolla Dé
Sponsored by C. Friel Plant Services
Bayonne – Colleen Mernar
Sponsored by Bayonne Donegal Association
Philadelphia – Maddie Devlin
Sponsored by Philadelphia Donegal Association
London – Sophie Walsh
Sponsored by The Bridge Inn, Dungloe
Dungloe – Breena Boyle
Sponsored by The Waterfront Hotel, Dungloe
Tyrone – Aimee Cuddy
Sponsored by Letterkenny Shopping Centre
Miami- Catherine Sanz
Sponsored by Lexi Jewelry
India – Anila Devasia
Sponsored by Strand Bar Maghery
Wild Atlantic Way – Nicola Ní Bhaoill
Sponsored by Arranmore Red Ferry
Gaeltacht – Joanne Ní Cheallaigh
Sponsored by Supervalu Dungloe
Dublin – Nadia Grimes
Sponsored by Skylon Hotel Dublin