“I want to help children through music”

In her first interview since being crowned the 2011 Mary from Dungloe, Dungloe’s Mary from Dungloe spoke of her burning ambition to help autistic children through music therapy.

In her first interview since being crowned the 2011 Mary from Dungloe, Dungloe’s Mary from Dungloe spoke of her burning ambition to help autistic children through music therapy.

Twenty-one year old Debbie Rodgers has recently graduated from UCD and plans to focus on teaching as a career with a special emphasis on children with special needs.

This extremely personable girl is presently working with Gerard and Mary McElwee in their Pharmacy in Dungloe and told this newspaper that she just loves her work.

“They have just been so good to me over the last few months as has everybody in Dungloe including Mark Sharkey from The Cope, Envie and my indispensable hairdresser, Mary Ham.

“Ever since I was a child out in Burtonport I used to come in to Dungloe every year to watch the Marys - it fascinated me but to be perfectly honest I never thought that I would be up on that stage. The whole thing is like a dream and at times I have to pinch myself to see if this is all really happening.

“Just yesterday I had a call from a lady in Glasgow who knew of my teaching ambitions and she immediately offered me a job in her school - there is no doubt about it this festival has a truly international dimension.

“Any offer of a job in the present climate cannot be ignored but I think I’ll be remaining in Dungloe for another while yet.

“I know it sounds like a cliche but in the last ten days I have made so many new friends among the other girls and I know this will continue for years to come. This did not feel like a competition - it was more of a get together of girls from all over with one thing in common - a love of Donegal.

“I really am looking forward to representing Donegal on a national stage in the coming year.!

Debbie will begin her first string of national appearances this morning (Thursday) when she joins members of the successful Donegal team and Noel Cunningham on TV3’s Morning Show on a live broadcast from Harvey’s Point Hotel in Donegal Town.