Sunday 19 November 2017

An evening fit for a queen in Blackrock

ON Friday night we head for the Library Suite in the Fairways Hotel where the 2013 Blackrock Seaside Festival Queen was being chosen and the place was completely packed as the 10 stunning contestants strove to become this years' winner.

I was only in the door when I caught up with the chairperson Antoinette Watters from Blackrock who was there with the committee which included Caroline McDonald, Noel Sharkey and Aidan Stewart from Blackrock, Sandra Moriarty from Greengates and Linus English from Dromiskin who were all busy making sure the night ran smoothly and was a huge success.

Antoinette told me the festival runs this weekend and has a huge collection of events (too numerous to mention) and if you want to see a comprehensive line-up why not check them out on facebook?

I then caught up with Yvonne Stewart from Rathmount who was collecting the tickets and was being ably assisted by her sidekick Zoe who told me it was going to be a fantastic night for sure.

I then decided to have a look round to see who was there and at the first table I then got talking to Ann McEleavey from Blackrock who was with her daughter Tara, Linda Mooney from Castlebellingham, David McCourt from Ashling Park, Dympna McGeeney also from Blackrock who told me her daughter Sarah McGeeney was taking part in the competition and was representing Harrisons Bar.

Not too far away I got a word with some of the Home Bakery supporters and they included Peter and Paula Kavanagh from The Orchard whose daughter Hannah was representing the popular bakery and they were with Lorraine O'Malley from Knockbridge, Marie Kirk from Avondale Park, Sinead Woods from Carlingford, Silvia Veverova originally from Slovakia and now from Point Road who told me they were going to be going crazy when Hannah got on stage.

I then headed over for a chat with number one man from the Windsor Bar Donal and Olga McGeough from Rathmount who were with Jim Conlon from Blackrock as well as Norbert and Lenka Quinn from Newry who told me they'd be cheering the loudest for Siona Delappe who was representing the Windsor Bar. Many thanks to Donal and Olga who were good enough to look after my secretary Amy Coogan, who came with me, got a bit bored following me around and ended up swapping jokes with Donal!

Meanwhile over at an adjacent table I caught up with Regina Reynolds from Old Golflinks Road who told me her daughter Grainne Buckley was representing Cafe Aqua and also there to lend her support were Gerry and Ann McKeever from Castlebellingham, as well as Grainne's sisters Kaitlin and Gina Buckley and Grainne's boyfriend Gerard Soraghan from Haggardstown who assured me it was going to be a cracking night for sure.

Making my way over to another table I then got a word with Máire Pepper from Haggardstown who was there for Aileen Thornton representing Bay View Inn and she was with Geraldine O'Reilly from Haggardstown, Elaine Trainor from the Bay View Inn, Aileen's aunty Mary Gray from Carrick Road, her grandad Joe Martin from Dublin Street, uncle Anton and Diane Martin from Gibbstown, uncle Pat Gray from Carrick Road along with Aileen's parents John and Rose Thornton who were all in great form and thoroughly enjoying the whole occasion.

Making my way over to another table I then got talking to Zoryana Vyslaby, Julia Potapchuk, Svitlana Ozolina, Attracta Coleman and Vasly Semenyuk all from Riva Brassiere who told me they were there to support Tanya Semenyuk who was representing Riva and told me they were still waiting for Tim and Bernie to arrive and were really looking forward to the night.

Meanwhile over at another table I then got talking to Tommy and Rosemary Lennon from Cocklehill who were with daughter Audrey and her boyfriend Dessie Lennon from Kilkerley, Kay Freeman from Beech Park, Linda and Jim Short from Knockbridge who said they were there for Aileen Thornton but Linda was also shouting for Christina McQuillan representing Classic Cabs because she is her godmother and they were also having a laugh with Claire Renaghan from Heynestown who is only here for another couple of weeks because she's heading off to Australia with her sister Laura, but on the night it was a bit of a split decision as to who they were going to be cheering the loudest for.

Making my way over to another table I then caught up with Lesley English from Dromiskin who was with Cllr Linus and they were enjoying the company of Una and Colm Mackin from Haggardstown who were cheering for Aileen Thornton and even though Lesley was supposed to be a neutral, she'd be supporting Aileen because she works for Aileen's mum!

Not too long later I met up with Maureen and Paudie Neary from Christianstown who told me their daughter Emma was last year's Festival Queen and they were out to make it a real night to remember with son Liam and Brianán McLearnon from town.

I then headed for a table where I caught up with Angela Selnikove from Woodville Manor who was with Noreen Treanor from Sandfield Gardens who were there to support Cafe Aqua and Classic Cabs and were also in the company of Linda Galligan from Haggardstown, Basa Urbonaviliene and Niamh Mernagh from Darver who assured me it was going to be a fantastic no matter who won.

Next I had the pleasure of meeting my neighbour Bernie McGuinness from Parnell Park who was with her mum Noeleen Stewart from Kilcurry, her aunt Bernadette Carroll also from Kilcurry and sister Sharon Myles from Dromiskin whose daughter Marika Wong was representing Centra.

They were at a table with Aisling and Sarah McAleavy along with Roisin Johnston all from Rathmount and Colette Dolan from Sandy Grove who were with a number of other ladies whose names I missed, but safe to say this was going to be easily the liveliest table there on the night. Not too long later I met up with two lads who were up for making the best of the night and they were Edvinas Marciulionus from Greenacres and Deivids Kokarevics from Garrybawn who told me they were there to cheer on representatives from the Windsor and Panama Cafe respectively!

Finally, before I departed I caught up with the Panama Cafe crew and they included Ann Egan from Sandymount, her granddaughter Stefania and daughter-in-law Ann who were up for a night of it with Asta Kaminskiene, Ramune Grigaite, Arianna Hernandez, Stephen Egan, Lina Usiene and daughter Gudda Usaite who were there for Greta Usaite who was representing Panama and I was reliably informed if their they didn't appear in this week's issue that life wouldn't be worth living, and I haven't even been in the Panama yet!!!

It turned out to be an excellent night and the hugely experienced judging panel picked Aileen Thornton representing the Bay View Inn as this years' Blackrock Seaside Festival Queen and the festival runs throughout this weekend, you really should check facebook for further details.

The Argus

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