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My name is Aideen Meehan I'm 20 years of age and have lived in the beautiful town of Dungloe for my entire life. I work part-time in Super Valu Dungloe for a number of years now as a sales assistant. I attended the local primary school here in Dungloe, Scoil Naomh Chroine and the local secondary school, The Rosses Community School. While in second year at the R.C.S. I qualified along with my best friend to go to the BT Young Scientist Exhibition in The RDS, Dublin. Our project was "How Childproof are childproof containers?" This was an incredible experience and we won the Irish Medicines Board Award which led to a fantastic opportunity for work experience in the Irish Medicines Board. As part of our Transition Year Programme I participated in the organisation and running of the festival as part of our Gaisce Presidency Award along with my peers in 2012. Working in the festival was a valuable experience where we learned and developed new skills such as organisation and communication skills. Also in my final year in the R.C.S. I was fortunate to be chosen as Head Girl, it was a great honour and privilege to be selected.
I am now currently a student in the Dublin Institute of Technology studying a Clinical Measurement Science Degree and have just completed my first year. It is very interesting course in which I thoroughly enjoy.
I am a member of the Dungloe Marching band and have been for a number of years. When I was younger we competed regularly winning numerous Donegal and Ulster Fleadh titles and winning the All-Ireland Fleadh in 2005 in the Junior Miscellaneous competition. The Dungloe Marching Band also plays an integral part in the festival making appearances on a number of occasions throughout the week, such as parading in the children's parade, leading the Little Miss Mary and Escort down the main street on the last Saturday of the festival, at the festival mass and in the main Parade on the final Sunday. The Dungloe band is a huge part of my life and indeed of the Dungloe Festival.
I am involved with our local G.A.A club here in Dungloe on a number of levels. I play on the Ladies Senior team and I am a qualified underage referee and hope to complete the next level at some point over the summer. I have also completed the Fundamentals coaching course and help out within the club whenever I can. I am currently a member of the Ladies G.A.A. team in D.I.T. where we were fortunate enough to reach an All-Ireland final just missing out on the title. I previously played at an underage Inter-County level representing Donegal for a number of years and won a Minor Ulster Championship medal in 2013.
I am an Irish Dancer and have been dancing since I was 7 years old with the McCafferty School of Irish Dancing. For a number of years I danced on stage at Lá Gaelach which is one of the more popular festival street events and have also danced at the interval of the Crowning Cabaret. I really enjoy Lá Gaelach on the Thursday of the festival as I love traditional Irish music and Irish Dancing where you are guaranteed ‘craic agus ceol’ on the streets and throughout.
I was also a member of the Rosses Athletics Club and competed regularly in cross-country, indoor and outdoor competitions. My greatest achievement and fondest memory of being an athlete was representing Donegal as a member of the girls U15 team in the indoor sports-hall multi-event competition. In 2011 we qualified from the Ulster stage in Magherafelt to compete in the British Nationals in Birmingham where I won three medals from my events and won Runner-up U15 multi-event female athlete in Britain.
The Festival is a very significant part of the Dungloe calendar. To be chosen as the Dungloe Mary this year and representing my home town is such a huge honour. I am looking forward to this year’s festival to take part as the Dungloe Mary, to meet the other girls selected as Marys and playing host showing the girls around our friendly picturesque town. Most of all I am looking forward to meeting all the people, locals and visitors alike, who come out to enjoy and take part in our fantastic International festival!