11 Aug 2022

Winner of the 2022 Mary From Dungloe International Arts Festival is chosen

The winner is the London Mary, Caitlin Finn

Winner of the 2022 Mary From Dungloe International Arts Festival is chosen

The winner is the London Mary, Caitlin Finn

The 2022 Mary from Dungloe has been announced.

The winner is the London Mary, Caitlin Finn. She was officially named as the 2022 Mary from Dungloe at the crowning cabaret in Ionad Spóirt na Rosann where the MC was Daniel O'Donnell. 

Born in London, Caitlin moved to Ballybofey when she was two and a half, and went to school there before doing her Leaving Certificate in Letterkenny. She appeared in a number of pantomimes and plays in Ballybofey and Letterkenny.

She graduated with a teaching degree just two weeks ago in London where she became the first ever female Students' Union Vice President at St Mary's University, Twickenham.

She had big support in the audience at the ceremony with many family members present, including her grandmother and grandfather who cut short a holiday in Portugal to be there.

This year the winning Mary was given a new crown, which will be known as the Gay Byrne perpetual crown, in memory of the late, great broadcaster who had a home in Dungloe and who loved the area so much. The crown was donated to the festival by the family.

The winner receives €1,000, a trip to New York, €500 vouchers from Pure Boutique, the Gray Room, McElhinney's and Laveesha jewellery.

Fact-file: Caitlin Finn

The 12 Marys who were interviewed were:

Shannon Hester - Bayonne Mary

Caroline Galvin - Belfast Mary

India Kennedy - Donegal Mary

Ann-Michelle McConalogue - Dublin Mary

Elizabeth (Libby) McCole - Dungloe Mary

Shauna Ní Dhochartaigh - Gaeltacht Mary

Ciara Gallagher-Murphy - Glasgow Mary

Caitlin Finn - London Mary

Saoirse Moloney Stevenson - New York Mary

Olivia Lisokwsi - Philadelphia Mary

Sarah Lawlor - San Francisco Mary

Kaitlyn Likas - Washington DC Mary

Before the winners were announced Mary Ward, festival PRO paid tribute to Deirdre Wilson, the festival coordinator.

She also thanked Daniel O'Donnell - an "absolute wonder" - for his contribution, the backstage team on the night of the crowning cabaret and AVC, who did the camera work.

She also thanked Mary Rodgers for all her photographic and online work, as well as Eoin McGarvey and Gabrielle McMonagle. 

As always, she stressed the importance of all the sponsors and thanked them sincerely.

Welcoming the Ukrainians now living in the area, she said: "We hope you had a wonderful experience today and become part of the Mary from Dungloe family."

She also spoke highly of the Marys and thanked the sponsors of the prizes and all who have supported them in any way, as well as all the volunteers.

Above: Some of the audience at the crowning cabaret

Daniel O'Donnell was the MC at the crowning cabaret

Above: The judges at the 2022 Mary from Dungloe crowning ceremony. Photos: Mary Rodgers.

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