Ele­gance and colour win the day at Lis­towel

Irish Examiner - - News - Ma­jella O’Sul­li­van

Con­di­tions were soft on the track but per­fect un­der­foot for 6in heels and the women who donned them for Ladies’ Day at Lis­towel Races.

Busy mother-of-two and Best Dressed Lady, Jill Dug­gan from Kil­lar­ney, al­most didn’t make it on time.

En route to the track, the beauty ther­a­pist had to make a U-turn, go home and col­lect her daugh­ter Lilly, 3, and drop her to the child­min­der, as her hus­band, Pa­trick, had for­got­ten.

“I’ve never won any­thing like this be­fore in my life and it was all very last-minute,” said Jill, who col­lected the turquoise Heidi Hig­gins dress coat from the dress­maker on Thurs­day.

The dress orig­i­nally be­longed to Jill’s mother, and she paired it with a turquoise and cerise pink hat from Mac Bee’s in Kil­lar­ney, with match­ing shoes bought at Frank Cof­fey’s.

The bag and gloves were also bor­rowed from mum Mary O’Donoghue from Glen­flesk.

The stylish en­sem­ble was the win­ning com­bi­na­tion and its wearer walked away with €3,000 cash and the use of a Honda Jazz car, spon­sored by McEl­lig­gott’s for the year.

Gemma and De­clan McDonagh had trav­elled all the way from Head­ford, Co Gal­way and it was worth their while as they walked away with the prize for Best Dressed Cou­ple.

Nurse Gemma wore a stun­ning 1950s-in­spired dress coat in pink that she had made her­self at a dress­mak­ing class at GTI in Gal­way. Farmer De­clan looked dap­per with a ker­chief pick­ing up the pink of his wife’s coat.

“We came down to at­tend vin­tage day on Satur­day so win­ning this to­day was a bonus,” Gemma told the Ir­ish Ex­am­iner.

RTÉ’s To­day Show

pre­sen­ters Maura Der­rane and Dáithí Ó Sé were at Lis­towel to judge the best­dressed con­tests.

“You don’t re­ally know what to ex­pect but I think the va­ri­ety was very good,” said Ó Sé.

His co-host said she liked colour but was also look­ing for some­thing sea­son­ally ap­pro­pri­ate. That the win­ner chose an Ir­ish de­signer was an added bonus.

“Peo­ple think once you hit this time of year it’s all black but you know, a bit of colour re­ally light­ens it up and it was a very el­e­gant out­fit and she wore it well,” she added.

The judges de­cided on the win­ner to­gether but had her spot­ted from the be­gin­ning.

First run­ner-up, Joanne Mur­phy from Kil­gar­van, a sea­soned Ladies’ Day com­peti­tor, ex­plained the at­trac­tion.

A mother-of-four, Joanne is also sec­re­tary of the lo­cal ju­ve­nile GAA club, and Ladies’ Day is her day for her­self when she es­capes the testos­terone and gets dressed up with her friend, Mags Healy.

“I won best hat at Kil­lar­ney in 2011, wear­ing my first Carol Ken­nelly hat, and it’s like an ad­dic­tion,” Joanne said, who also won the best hat at the Horse Show at the RDS the fol­low­ing year.

Ladies’ Day at Lis­towel Har­vest Fes­ti­val is one of the big­gest rac­ing dates of the cal­en­dar.

Num­bers had been down slightly at the north Kerry track all week for its 158th Har­vest Fes­ti­val, due to the bad weather, but were back up again yes­ter­day for the penul­ti­mate day.

Apart from be­ing one of the big­gest race days na­tion­ally, the har­vest fes­ti­val is also a tra­di­tional trip home for some ex­iles.

Tadhg Mo­ri­arty from Cool­keer­agh, Lis­towel has lived in Har­row in Lon­don since 1975 but makes it home each year for the races.

He’s part of a group of around 30 based in Lon­don, who travel to the races each year. “I’ve only missed one year. I think I couldn’t get the time off work,” Tadhg says.

“Some of the fel­lows who used to come are no longer alive but more join in and once they get the hang of it, there’s no stop­ping them.”

The group used to make it home for the week but nowa­days they do two or three days.

Tadhg ex­plains what keeps them com­ing.

“It’s the at­mos­phere, the peo­ple and the craic. We some­times do a bit of a tour and end up in Bally­bunion or Bal­ly­long­ford and the craic is al­ways good there too,” he said.

The Har­vest Fes­ti­val con­cludes to­day, with the first race at 2.05pm.

Pic­ture: Don MacMona­gle

Sinead Fo­ley of Lis­can­nor, Co Clare, and Lisa Daly, Brid Bruder, and Carol Stan­ley from Bal­ly­hahill, Co Lim­er­ick show their style at the McEl­lig­ott’s Honda Best Dressed Lady Day at Lis­towel Races yes­ter­day.

Pic­ture: Don MacMona­gle

Jill Dug­gan, Kil­lar­ney, win­ner of the McEl­lig­ott’s Honda Best Dressed Lady.

Pic­ture: Don MacMona­gle

Karen Mul­vi­hill with Maura Der­rane and Dáithí Ó Sé af­ter she won the ‘Best Selfie’ award at Lis­towel Races.

Pic­ture: Don MacMona­gle

Sis­ters Katie Buck­ley and Linda Blake from Lis­towel at McEl­lig­ott’s Honda Best Dressed Lady Day.

Pic­ture: Dom­nick Walsh

Joanne O’Fla­herty and Sharon Quil­ter, both of Lis­towel, en­joy Ladies’ Day.

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