Mary from Dungloe (festival) facts for kids
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 on 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. The festival is inspired by the song "Mary from Dungloe" as the Rose of Tralee festival is by "The Rose of Tralee". 2019 saw the festival celebrate its 52nd anniversary, with Roisin Maher from New York becoming Mary From Dungloe 2019.
Many 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. 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. Art Exhibition Sharkey's Service Station 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 Waterfront Hotel Closing Ceremony Main St.
As the festival has been cancelled in 2020 due to Covid-19, the 2020 contestants or 'Marys' will take part in the 2021 festival.
These contestants are as follows
- Caitlin Finn - London Mary
- Claire Hassett - Tipperary Mary
- Shannon Hester - Bayonne Mary
- Sarah Lawlor - San Francisco Mary
- Kaitlyn Likas - Washington DC Mary
- Ellenor Thompson - Glasgow Mary
- Saoirse Stevenson - New York Mary
- Olivia Lisowski - Philadelphia Mary
- - Donegal Mary
- - Dungloe Mary
- - Gaeltacht Mary
- - Wild Atlantic Way Mary
They will be guided by the reigning Mary Roisin Maher from New York.
Below is a complete list of contest winners from 1968 to 2007.
|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|
|1976||Anne Marie McDaid||Derry|
|1977||Sheila T Boyle||Bayonne|
|1981||Noreen Galligan||An Ghaeltacht|
|1984||Anne Marie Moloney||New York||Jackson Heights||18|
|1988||Maureen Connelly||Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania||New York||24|
|1990||Anne Marie Downes||Louth|
|1993||Samantha Pairman||North East England|
|1995||Kathleen McMahon||New York||New York||20|
|1996||Siobhan Bignell||Melbourne||London, England||24|
|2002||Jolene McMonagle||An Ghealtacht||Falcarragh||22|
|2004||Lisa Mc Kelvey||Dungloe||Dungloe||20|
|2012||Meghan Davis||Philadelphia||Wilkes-Barre, PA||26|
|2016||Eva Ní Dhoibhlinn||Gaeltacht||Gweedore||20|
|2019/2020||Roisin Maher||New York||Carlow||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. Nathan Carter
- Barry Sinclair, Jimmy Buckley, Hugo Duncan, Mad Dog Macrea.
The Mary From Dungloe contest final has been compered by a number of famous faces.
Mary from Dungloe (festival) Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.