A lot more than just a 'lovely girls' competition


Launch night: Queen of the Land 2018 Louise Crowley and Macra president Thomas Duffy with sponsors Mary Hannevig and Niamh McDonald of Tullamore Credit Union at the recent launch of the festival
Launch night: Queen of the Land 2018 Louise Crowley and Macra president Thomas Duffy with sponsors Mary Hannevig and Niamh McDonald of Tullamore Credit Union at the recent launch of the festival

Claire Fox

With the Macra Rally over for another year, all eyes are on the youth organisation's next event on the social calendar - which is of course Queen of the Land.

It is the biggest event in the Macra calendar, with 29 contestants travelling to Tullamore to compete for the coveted title from November 8-10.

On Friday 8, participants will be given a tour of Offaly. This will be followed by entertainment by the Dooley Brothers and Bingo Bongo.

The following day each contestant will be interviewed by a private judging panel which includes reigning Queen of the Land, Louise Crowley from Limerick.

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Later that day the women will meet their escorts, and in the evening they will take to the stage where they will be put through their paces during interviews with local MC Will Faulkner of Midlands 103.

On the Sunday the girls will attend a special ceremony at the Church of Assumption, Tullamore,

The banquet will take place on Sunday evening, where one of the women will be crowned 2019 Queen of the Land, following in the footsteps of 2017 winner Emma Birchall - a medical student in UCC - and Limerick farmer Louise.

Louise was one of the founding members of Crecora Manister Croom Macra, set up less than three years ago.

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Louise has a degree in Agricultural Science from Cork IT and runs a 150-cow Holstein Friesian herd with her father John on the family farm outside Croom.

Louise says that the people who mock the competition as a 'lovely girls' contest don't understand what it is about.

"Anybody who has that opinion hasn't a clue about the competition. Yes, all the women involved are dressed up, but for most women, to have your hair and make-up done and be pampered for the weekend is a novelty," she points out.

"Every woman is there for a reason, whether it's to talk about farm safety or encourage women into farming. It can lead to lots of opportunities. It's such as positive thing."

Tickets for Queen of the Land - sponsored by the Credit Union - are on sale now.

For more information contact Niamh McDonald on 086 2109551, email queenofthelandfestival@gmail.com or visit www.queenofthelandfestival.com

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