Saturday 20 July 2019

Mixing boutique with Penneys ensures photo finish for Limerick girl

Pictured are left to right finalists, second place, Emer Kilroy, a solicitor from Athlone, Co. Westmeath, overall winner, Carita Conway from Castleconnell, Co. Limerick and 3rd place, Paula McCormack, a nurse from Thurles, Co. Tipperary.
Photo: Alan Place
Pictured are left to right finalists, second place, Emer Kilroy, a solicitor from Athlone, Co. Westmeath, overall winner, Carita Conway from Castleconnell, Co. Limerick and 3rd place, Paula McCormack, a nurse from Thurles, Co. Tipperary. Photo: Alan Place
Contender: Mamie Hayes, from Castletroy, Co Limerick, on ‘Most Stylish Lady’ day PHOTO: ALAN PLACE

David Raleigh

Limerick woman Carita Conway earned a home win at the Limerick Races Christmas Festival, taking home the title of 'Most Stylish Lady'.

The 27-year-old office manager and trainee teacher, from Castleconnell, Co Limerick, mixed boutique with Penneys for her winning outfit.

Wearing a black and gold trouser suit from Willow Boutique in Galway, Carita donned a black headpiece from Marc Millinery in Cork, a stole from Dunnes Stores, shoes by Penneys, and gloves and bag by Ted Baker.

"I'm absolutely thrilled, I'm over the moon. I was shocked really because the style here was unbelievable," Ms Conway told the Irish Independent.

"I didn't intend on winning but it's lovely to get dressed up and it's really nice to win, especially in Limerick, when I'm from Limerick."

Earlier in the day there was a moment of anxiety when leading amateur jockey Jamie 'JJ' Codd came off Farclas, in the Irish Independent Grade 3 Hurdle.

Last night, Wexford man Jamie was recovering well after X-rays confirmed he had suffered several cracked ribs.

JP McManus-owned Espoir D'allen, trained by Gavin Cromwell, took home the €20,910 in prize money from the race.

It was a bumper day at the racecourse, which expects to welcome 40,000 through the turnstiles over the four-day festival, ending today.

A record total of more than €550,000 in prizes is on offer.

"A lot of things have landed in our favour; we've had smashing ground, and smashing weather, and Grade 1 racing. All in all we are very happy," said racecourse manager Pat O'Callaghan.

Mr O'Callaghan also said "turnover was up quite significantly", with the operation employing "in the region of 250" over the festival.

More than 20,000 meals are being served by local family hoteliers David and Conor Fitzgerald, of the Woodlands House Hotel, Adare.

David Fitzgerald said: "It's massive for us. In total we have about 140 working for us over the four days."

The Fenton family travelled from Gneeveguilla, Co Kerry - dad Damien and daughters Aisling (6) and Muireann (8), were among those enjoying themselves.

"I've always come here, ever since I was a young fella and I used to come with my [late] father [Denis] over the Christmas, so I'm trying to keep the tradition going," Damien said.

The festival concludes today with a fun day which will see the racecourse "transformed into a children's paradise".

Irish Independent

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