Mary from Dungloe (festival)
The Mary From Dungloe International Festival is a popular Irish music festival held annually, usually at the end of July in the small town of Dungloe, County Donegal. The festival is centred around a pageant to find out which contestant has the spirit of the festival, who is then crowned "Mary From Dungloe". The winner of the contest holds this title for a year and acts as an ambassador for the festival. Irish emigrant communities from around the world as well as some Irish counties and towns participate by nominating a young woman, endearingly titled a "Mary", to represent their community at the contest. The festival has grown in popularity over the years and now regularly attracts tens of thousands of visitors to the area.
Participating Irish communities
Many Irish communities around the world with links to County Donegal have their own local contests to pick their community's "Mary" who subsequently is nominated to travel to Dungloe to compete in the Mary From Dungloe contest final. Irish communities who have entered contestants include:
Traditional festival events
There are a number of traditional events which are run every year as part of the festival. Here are just a few examples:
Event Traditional Location Opening Ceremony Main St. Introduction of MFD Contestants Main St. Open Air Music Main St. Fun Fair The Cope Car Park Sports Day Dungloe Gaelic Athletic Association Grounds Men's Golf Open Cruit Island Golf Club Ladies Golf Open Cruit Island Golf Club Treasure Hunt Main St. Annual 5K Road Race Main St. Fly Fishing Competition Dungloe Marina Little Miss Mary Competition Parochial Hall Table Quiz Maghery Community Centre Junior Table Quiz Ionad Teampall Cróine Social Evening with the Marys Various Historic Tour of the Rosses Departs Main St. Interviewing of the MFD Contestants Carrickfinn Airport Bonny Baby Show Parochial Hall Daniel O'Donnell in Concert Festival Dome Parade Main St. Band Competition Main St. MFD Contest Final Festival Dome Gala Ball Ostan Na Rosann Closing Ceremony Main St.
Below is a complete list of contest winners from 1968 to 2007.
Year Winner Represented Originally From Age 1968 Celine Powell Dublin Galway 1969 Marie McGlinchey Donegal 1970 Monina Hughes Armagh 1971 Gloria O'Boyle Donegal Bunbeg, Gweedore 1972 Carole Mary Carr Limerick 1973 Nora Boyle Donegal Burndennet, County Tyrone 1974 Maribel Lopez Del Hoya Spain 1975 Maureen Temple Londonderry 1976 Anne Marie McDaid Derry 1977 Sheila T Boyle Bayonne 1978 Bernice McElroy Down 1979 Ann O'Callaghan Louth 1980 Marie Coyle Glasgow 1981 Noreen Galligan An Ghaeltacht 1982 Debbie O'Brien Manchester 1983 Máire McCole Dungloe 1984 Anne Marie Moloney New York Jackson Heights 18 1985 Sheila Hughes Mayo 1986 Linda Farrell Louth 22 1987 Maria McGovern Dublin Dublin 1988 Maureen Connelly Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania New York 24 1989 Carmel Kelly Donegal Donegal 1990 Anne Marie Downes Louth 1991 Pamela Sheridan Meath 1992 Paula O'Reilly Monaghan 1993 Samantha Pairman North East England 1994 Sarah Mulholland Dungloe Kincasslagh 21 1995 Kathleen McMahon New York New York 20 1996 Siobhan Bignell Melbourne London, England 24 1997 Heather Stewart Edinburgh 1998 Brighid Williams Sydney 1999 Ciara Diver Derry 2000 Shirley McGlynn Manchester Dublin 21 2001 Fiona Callan Wicklow Wicklow 19 2002 Jolene McMonagle An Ghealtacht Falcarragh 22 2003 Aisling Friel Glasgow Glasgow 21 2004 Lisa Mc Kelvey Dungloe Dungloe 20 2005 Katie Armstrong Philadelphia Philadelphia 25 2006 Jennifer Halton Kildare Kildare 22 2007 Kerry Sweeney Edinburgh Edinburgh 21 2008 Una Rooney Armagh Armagh 24 2009 Kate Ferguson Derry Derry 25 2010 Jemma Ferry Edinburgh Edinburgh 22 2011 Debbie Rodgers Dungloe Burtonport 21 2012 Meghan Davis Philadelphia Wilkes-Barre, PA 26 2013 Grace Sweeney Glasgow Glasgow 27
Entertainers and musicians
Many Irish and international acts have performed at the festival over the years. The traditional annual crowd puller, however, continues to be internationally renowned folk singer Daniel O'Donnell, who made his festival debut in 1985.
- Daniel O'Donnell, Boyzone, Brian Kennedy, Donal Lunny, Altan, The Hothouse Flowers, Goats Don't Shave.
- Barry Sinclair, Jimmy Buckley, Hugo Duncan, Mad Dog Macrea.
The Mary From Dungloe contest final has been compered by a number of famous faces.
- Gay Byrne
- Daniel O'Donnell
- Marty Whelan
- Pat Kenny
- Thelma Mansfield
- Gerry Kelly
- Noel Cunningham
- Dave O'Connor