Cavan Girl Catherine crowned 2004 Queen of the Land
Cavan girl wins Queen of the Land Festival for first time ever
Cavan girl Catherine McCollum is the 2004 G.V.M. Auctioneers sponsored Macra Queen of the Land after beating off stiff competition from twenty one other hopefuls to take the coveted prize. Catherine, a farmer was "delighted beyond belief" with her win in a competition that has become the prestige event of the Macra calendar.
Catherine's parents were on hand to support her in Tullamore as she lifted the crown and they were accompanied by a vociferous contingent from her local Macra club, Cavan Town. Her father said he was "extremely proud of his daughter" adding that "he had a good feeling that she might sneak the title".
Catherine's victory was no surprise to many as she was highly regarded by many over the weekend in which she and the other queens were judged on appearance, dress sense, rural knowledge and elocution.
Catherine's win is the first time in the competitions thirty-nine year history of the contest. The runner-up on the night was Limerick queen, Michelle McNamara. Louth's Isobel Corrigan was third.
Chairperson of the judging committee, Caroline Tuite who was the 2003 winner said that they "had no doubts that the best girl had won" adding that Catherine "is a contestant which best exudes the qualities of today's modern rural woman."
A host of entertainment was laid on Catherine and her fellow contestants over the weekend. It all began with the Official opening which took place on the Friday evening in the Ballroom of the Bridge House Hotel followed by a vibrant night's music and craic.
Saturday saw the Queens take to the streets of Tullamore in search of clues in a fun treasure hunt. That night the entourage moved to the Tullamore Court Hotel where the girls were put through their paces with an onstage interview followed by more high-octane entertainment.
Sore heads were quickly cleared with a trip to mass in the impressive local church in Tullamore where the Queens were special guests. The entertainment continued with a ballad session in the Bridge House followed that evening by a gala Banquet at the same venue culminating in the crowning of Catherine as the Queen of the Land.
Catherine as Queen of the Land took home the generously sponsored G.V.M. Auctioneers perpetual trophy, a cheque for €1000 and a weekend for two in the Bridge House Hotel.
Catherine paid tribute to the organising committee of the festival saying that all the girls were "treated like queens over the weekend" adding that "all we needed was only a call away" The Queens were accommodated in a luxury 4-star hotel for the weekend and were wined and dined for the duration of their stay while enjoying full use of all the excellent facilities on offer including the leisure centre and gym.