independent

Tuesday 29 July 2014

Balbriggan can boast a 'Queen of the Land'

John Manning

Published 11/03/2014|05:32

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Lorna Sweetman, Dublin’s ‘Queen of the Land’, with a lamb she delivered about 30 minutes before the photograph was taken.

BALBRIGGAN'S own 'Queen of the Land' swapped a glamourous dress and sash for welly boots and overalls to deliver the first spring lambs on her grandparents' farm just hours after winning a regional title in a Macra na Feirme pageant.

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BALBRIGGAN'S own 'Queen of the Land' swapped a glamourous dress and sash for welly boots and overalls to deliver the first spring lambs on her grandparents' farm just hours after winning a regional title in a Macra na Feirme pageant.

Lorna Sweetman was crowned Dublin's 'Queen of the Land' and will go on to represent her county in a national competition in October, but just hours after winning the glamourous title, she was down on the farm and introducing some lambs to their new home on Chris and Geraldine Sweetman's farm in Balbriggan.

Lorna does not work on the farm full-time but helps out when she can and only lives down the road from her grandparents' sheep farm.

In Kettle's Country House Hotel in Rolestown, Macra chose Lorna to represent Dublin in the 'Queen of the Land' competition that somewhat resembles a certain well known pageant in Tralee that shall remain nameless! But the glitz and glamour did not last too long for Lorna, who was up with the lark the next morning and helping her grandparents' and uncle on the farm to deliver the spring lambs at 6 a.m. before heading off to her day job as a care assistant.

'The lambing started about 6 a.m. and the first three lambs were born that morning. The lamb on my lap in the picture your photographer took arrived only about a half-an-hour before the picture was taken,' Lorna told the Fingal Independent.

Lorna spent a lot of time on the Balbriggan farm growing up and remembers it fondly.

'I would have always had a pet lamb growing up. My first pet lamb at aged five, was called Nody.

'I was actually pictured with him in one of the tabloid papers. They didn't run the usual 'page three' in Ireland at the time so my claim to fame was I appeared on page three with my pet lamb.'

Lorna is now looking forward to getting back into a glamourous dress and sash again for the national finals of the 'Queen of the Land' competition, to be held in Tullamore on the October bank holiday weekend.

No doubt, her lambing experience will feature in the anecdotes she will share with the audience that night and in the meantime she is planning a number of fundraising events for her local Macra club.

Lorna is relatively new to Macra na Feirme and said the club has been a fantastic social outlet.

'I'm only in Macra about six months so I'm relatively new to the organisation really. It's a great distraction from work and everyone is lovely and friendly,' said Lorna. 'I think it's a wonderful organisation and I have a very high regard for it. It's a good and safe atmosphere to go out and have fun.'

Fingal Independent

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