After a week of traversing the county and enjoying the superb hospitality of the people of Donegal it was all down to the wire on Sunday night as Judgement Day beckoned for the ten beautiful finalists in the 45th Mary from Dungloe festival.
The evening had certain similarities to another great Donegal event in Croke Park earlier in the day - it was a pure roller-coaster ride of emotion. At one stage you would feel confident that you had a winner and then someone just came up and scored another point.
It simply was one of those nights where it was impossible to pick a winner - solicitors, scientists, accomplished actresses and singers - they were all there and the one thing that held them all in common was their sheer sincerity and caring attitudes.
Like all such events, unfortunately there can only be one winner and Philadelphia’s Meghan Davis edged ahead with her stunning performance on the harp leaving even MC Conall Gallen speechless!
The 26-year-old is a graduate of the world famous Peabody Conservatory at the John Hopkins University and holds degrees in Harp and Vocal performances and has received many prestigious awards in her short career. No doubt we will be hearing a lot more from this talented girl from Philadelphia.
Meghan was presented with a cheque for €1,000, various trophies and a superb designer hamper from Cara Pharmacy worth in excess of €500. In fact all the finalists were treated to VIP goody bags and personalised cups to mark this once in-a-lifetime experience.
Conal Gallen, who had to step in at the last moment as MC, did a superb job and put all the girls at their ease.
“It’s a whole new experience for me, something I’m not used to but I just decided that tonight is not about me and my jokes - its about all these wonderful people who have put so much time and effort into becoming a Mary from Dungloe. They have convinced me that there is indeed a future for this country!”