My name’s Caoimhe O’Hagan, I’m 22 years old from a small place called Drumgath in the heart of the Mournes. I am a proud past pupil of Our Lady’s Grammar School Newry and I have recently graduated from Queen’s University Belfast with a BEng in Software Engineering. I will be soon moving to Dublin to begin a new Graduate role in BearingPoint.
After hanging up my football boots a number of years ago, I am still an avid follower of the GAA, supporting my club, my county and of course my “second home” Donegal!! There is always plenty of healthy competition between ourselves and the locals, between Championship rivalry and the odd amateur jiving competition in the Strand Bar!
Last summer I went to Raleigh, NC to work in an Irish Bar and Restaurant called the Hibernian. I am very passionate about my Irish home so I thoroughly enjoyed sharing my culture with the many different people I encountered during my 10 weeks there.
I have been lucky enough to travel to and spend time in Medjugoie, Knock and Lough Derg with various youth groups I have been involved with over the years. I was also awarded the Pope John Paul II Gold Award for recognition of Parish involvement and social awareness in my area.
I am an active volunteer with the Michaela Foundation, which is an organization I hold very close to my heart. My involvement has went above and beyond anything I ever could’ve imagined; from leading Summer camps, to manning a stand at the world record breaking “Marathon Match”, to completing a 13,000ft tandem skydive, there’s never been a dull moment! However, behind the fun, my involvement has allowed me to meet many people who share the same interests and qualities that I do, and introduced me to many everyday role models who have had a massive influence on me, and continue to inspire me everyday. Something that I am sure I will experience during this years festival with the other Mary’s.
My family have a holiday home in Maghery, just outside Dungloe, so for the last 12 years a weekend without a trip west was few and far inbetween. Over the years spending time in Maghery I’ve come to learn that you need nothing more than a little sand between your toes to take away your woes. I have many fond memories growing up attending the festival in Dungloe and always looked forward to seeing the newly crowned Mary at the Meenacross Agricultural Show… but maybe that’s the inner farmers daughter shining through!
I am absolutely delighted to be this years Down Mary and look forward to spending my time at the festival a little differently this year!! Also, many thanks to Mick, Breda and Family from the Strand Bar in Maghery for being my sponsor during the festival.