Fun element key in Northwest event
The annual Northwest Kings and Queens event takes places on January 19 at Sligo Park Hotel.
Now in its 12th year, it involves Macra in the northern and western counties each nominating a King and a Queen to represent them. Similarities can be drawn between this competition and other Macra festivals such as Miss Blue Jeans or Queen of the Land.
However, Northwest PRO Siobhan Gallagher clarified: “We are exclusively for the Northwest counties, we don’t extend it out across the country but it brings everybody together.
“You could have hundreds of people from the north of Donegal, or from Monaghan, because it’s their way of meeting everyone once a year.” The Kings and Queens will come together around lunchtime on Saturday, January 19. They are brought together to get to know each other and are subsequently paired up. “Cavan might be paired with Galway, you are not in your county pairs, and they do a number of team building exercises during the day and then they have stage interviews during the dinner that evening,” Siobhan said. The fun element of the competition was very much evident during last year’s renewal when contestants took part in novel activities which tested their creativity, their knowledge of each other, and their capability to work as a team — including creating a castle, penning a “Macra Poem”, testing their teamwork with “The Cube” based games, and finally a Mr and Mrs quiz.
A motivating factor in establishing this festival was a feeling that the majority of Macra festivals were located too farm south in the country, relative to the Northwest. “There is very little up the Northwest, and we recognised the need for something in the Northwest to bring together the counties and have something for them to look forward to instead of travelling to Miss Blue Jeans in Co Meath or Queen of the Land in Tullamore.”
Leitrim Queen Paula Kiernan (Carrigallen Macra) and Donegal King Luke Mcclintock (Proper Job Macra) were crowned Northwest Macra King and Queen last year. “The King and Queen are crowned around midnight, and they get €200 each, and the coveted tiara and crown trophies,” said Siobhan.
Zoe Coghlan from Carrigaline, Sinead Corbett from Limerick, and Deirdre O’driscoll from Durrus, were at the Carrigaline Macra New Year’s Eve ball in the Rochestown Hotel, Cork.