Sponsored by 'Best Western Dublin Skylon Hotel'
My name is Aislinn McFadden and I am a primary school teacher living and working in Co. Kildare. I will turn 24 during this year’s festival and I am delighted to be this year’s Dublin Mary. I am no stranger to Dungloe, having lived on the Pole Road for three years as a child and spent many summers with my grandparents in Ard Chroine. Dungloe holds a lot of special memories for me in particular the time I have spent there with my grandparents and cousins. My memories of the town are vast and include visits to McGlynns sweetshop, walks down the pier and working with my grandfather in Ostan na Rosann. Unfortunately as I got older my studies and career started to interfere with the amount of time I could spend in Dungloe, which is another reason I am thrilled to be part of this year’s festival.
I love to travel and recently spent a summer in Minnesota USA working in a summer camp for children with special educational needs. During that time I learned a lot about myself and realized that it’s important to do what makes you happy. It inspired me to seize opportunities as they come your way which is part of the reason I applied for this years festival. My love for working with children has also inspired me to write a children’s novel which is still in it’s early stages. I hope to dedicate more time to my novel over the summer holidays and hopefully finish it at some point this year. I also love being on the stage and am a member of The Silken Thomas Players, an All-Ireland title winning drama group in Kildare. Since my teenage years I have been involved in musical societies and only recently made the jump to more serious acting.
In the past year and a half I have turned my lifestyle around and have become interested in being healthy and fit. Having lost a significant amount of weight I have thankfully gained back all the happiness I had lost from years being over weight. I now enjoy circuit training and running every week and love my new and active life. It hasn’t been an easy journey but it has most definitely been worth it!
Being part of this year’s festival means the world to me. I can’t wait to meet all the other Mary’s and get to engage with the community of Dungloe. I can’t wait for the opportunity to make my family proud, in particular my grandfather who I know will be by my side every step of the way. It will be an experience of a lifetime, there’s no doubt about that. An rud is annamh is iontach!