Galway Queen crowned FBD Queen of the Land for 2014
10th November 2014
The 50th annual FBD Queen of the Land festival, which took place in the Bridge House Hotel Tullamore over three days on the 7th, 8th and 9th of November has once again proved to be a resounding success, with record breaking attendance. The FBD Queen of the Land Festival were proud to announce Orla Murphy as the FBD Queen of the Land for 2014. Orla Murphy hailing from county Galway was overwhelmed when the announcement was made. Orla paid great tribute to her fellow contestants who had made it the “most memorable weekend ever” and especially thanked the FBD Queen of the Land committee for making each one of them feel like royalty.
Orla comes away from Tullamore with the prestigious FBD Queen of the Land title and the accompanying tiara and trophy, a specially commissioned piece of Galway Crystal from Cahill Jewellers, €1000 sponsored by FBD, a two-night break in the Bridge House Hotel, €200 clothing voucher from Kode and a hamper from Ritzys Hairdressing. Margaret Stanley from North Tipperary took 1st runner up and Mairead Madden representing Offaly took 2nd runner up. Ronan Phelan from Laois Macra was selected by the Queens as best escort and receives a €200 voucher for Guy Clothing and a weekend in the Central Hotel, Tullamore.
Contestants were judged on a range of attributes. The event is primarily a personality contest with marks also on offer for appearance, dress sense, rural knowledge and elocution. The festival, which has grown from humble beginnings, is now one of the most prestigious events on the Macra na Feirme social calendar. Huge crowds attended this year’s festival from all over Ireland due, in no small part, to the fantastic line up of entertainment and 28 entries from all four corners of the country along with our first ever Scottish Queen, Gillian Walker.
The festival kicked off with a vintage car parade on Friday evening followed by a special 50th celebration Gala Banquet, where all the previous winning queens were in attendance and honored on the night. Declan Nerney filled the floor all night and was a great hit with all the Queens.
Saturday morning the Queens were interviewed by the judging panel comprised of Alan Geraghty of FBD, Geraldine Barrett, 2013 FBD Queen of the Land, Alan Jagoe Former president of Macra na Feirme and Anna Marie McHugh, PRO of the National Ploughing Association and the 1989 Queen of the Land winner. That night the Queens were put through their paces on stage by MC Deric Hartigan, 3e weather presenter, and danced the night away to Transmitter, Ruaile Buaile & Rock on Paddy.
On Sunday, after a day filled with activities and being pampered in Ritzys Hairdressing and made up in Svetlanas Nail bar and Beauty rooms, nerves were beginning to show for the winner’s announcement at 12 midnight. Announcing the winners, judge and reigning Queen Geraldine Barrett complimented the Queens for being excellent ambassadors for their clubs and counties and wished the 2014 Queen well for the coming year.
Ger Mahon, chairperson of the organising committee, paid tribute to the 28 girls who took part and said, “The committee is very much looking forward to working with Orla during the year. She will make an excellent Queen of the Land.” According to Ger, “We have had another successful Queen of the Land festival, thanks in no small part to our main sponsors FBD, the associate sponsors, committee and the many supporters that came from all over the country to Tullamore for the weekend.”