THE best-dressed lady at Listowel Races kept it local for her winning ensemble choosing a dress by Kerry designer Don O'Neill and hat by local milliner Aoife Hannon.
But Nollaig McCarthy, a mother-of-two, said she was still stunned to be chosen by judges Daithi O Se and Celia Holman Lee. She said she had managed to "cobble together" her designer look for less than €500.
The Aer Lingus air stewardess (38) revealed she picked up her stunning raspberry coat by Heidi Higgins in 'Kerry's Boutique' in Killarney – a steal in the January sales – and her shoes were by Michael Kors.
"I'm just so shocked," she said. "It's like a dream. I don't have much of a social life but this is the one day of the year I take off for myself."
Nollaig was enjoying the Listowel Races with friends but it was back home to Finuge afterwards to help out at the family pub. But it certainly was worth her while as she was rewarded with €500 in cash and a voucher to the value of €2,000 from Chic Boutique in Listowel, sponsors of ladies' day.
Judge Celia Holman Lee once again had to contend with playing second fiddle to her co-judge O Se.
"Everyone wants to get their photograph taken with Daithi, even the men," said the exasperated judge who said the style at Listowel was among the best she had seen all year.
"It was very interesting because the autumn/winter fashions were on show and there was great colour and variety."
It was the first event in a busy weekend for Daithi whose wife Rita is expecting their first child in March.
"I'm doing MC at the All Ireland football finals at Croke Park and then I'm down at the Ploughing Championships next week to launch the Today Show which is back on October 7," he said.