Courteney Ní Bhaoill
Sponsored by Supervalu Dungloe
Courteney Ní Bhaoill is ainm dom. Tá mé naoi bhliain déag d'aois. I come from the Gaeltacht area of Leitir Catha or the hills as others may know it. I take immense pride in where I come from as it's the land in which the original Mary Gallagher, who is the foundation of our festival, hails from. Living right next door to Mary's home I have grown up listening to the stories of her life and how the festival came about. To be able to represent my home of Leitir Catha and the rest of the Gaeltacht is a true honour and privilege.
I work full time with one of Irelands leading hairdressing brand, PeterMark, in their Letterkenny salon. I am currently in my second year of my apprenticeship with the salon. Having almost completed all my courses with only four more to go, I will hopefully be a fully qualified professional Hair Stylist in October this year by the age of 20 which will be a massive achievement for me. I thoroughly enjoy where I work as my colleagues are truly lovely. I'm always in the company of new and regular clients that I am able to form a trustworthy friendship with.
Outside of work, I am a proud Drum Major for the Maghery Fife and Drum band, Boíun Ceoil an Mhaghaire. We currently hold two senior Fleadh Cheoil Na hÉireann titles, three 'Best Youth band' titles that we competed for in Limericks International Championship festival and also just recently won first place in our Easter competition at home in Dungloe. Also nabbing best band on parade that day. For two years I was also a part of the bands committee, were I helped organise the bands year ahead. We take great pride in our achievements and aim to promote traditional music to try and keep the tradition of marching bands alive. We travel to parades to different locations in Ireland with the Mary from Dungloe festival parade always having a special place on our band calendar. It will most definitely be a change for me this year enjoying the parade from a different angle with the rest of the Marys. However you never know you might see me front and centre marching along with the band anyway.
I am absolutely honoured to be selected as this years Gaeltacht Mary for the 50th year of the festival. As a proud Gaeltacht lady I take pride in the tittle and hope to promote the language and culture to the best of my ability throughout the festival. I cannot wait to meet the rest of the Marys and enjoy the fun filled week that is ahead of us all, building friendships and memories that we will cherish forever. Tá suil agam go mbéidh seachtain at doigh againn, ag baint sult as an craic. Tá sé iontach speiciálta lé bheith ábalta páirt a ghlacadh sa feile mór atá ann I mbliana fá choinne an 50ú bhliain.