Kerry ‘Gold’: 2018 Blue Jean Country Queen crown heads to the Kingdom

Alison O’Connor from Co. Kerry has been crowned the 2018 Blue Jean Country Queen at this year’s Blue Jean Festival on Sunday, June 3, in Athboy, Co. Meath.

Organised by Meath Macra na Feirme, county and regional winners from Macra clubs around the country came together over the weekend to compete for the coveted crown.

Alison is the first representative from Kerry Macra na Feirme to do so in the 30-year history of the festival.

Alison, a 27-year-old civil servant and member of Causeway Macra na Feirme, was awarded the top prize of €1,000 – sponsored by Athboy Credit Union.

Last year’s winner – another Alison – Alison Sinnott from Wexford, returned to Athboy to hand over the crown at a ceremony which took place following the 2018 Gala Banquet on Sunday evening.

Runner-up was Catherine Dillion from Kilkenny, who received €500 from M&G Groundworks, while third place went to Katie Maguire, from Meath who won €250 from Hi Spec Construction.

L-R: Second place Catherine Dillion from Kilkenny; 2018 Blue Jean Country Queen Alison O’Connor from Kerry; and third place Katie Magurie from Meath. Image source: David Gilroy

Throughout the weekend, Alison and her 21 fellow ‘queens’ took part in a hectic weekend, including everything from taking part in on-stage interviews and a fashion show to attending a barbecue with main sponsors Athboy Credit Union.

On Friday night, the queens were interviewed on stage by MC for the night Enfield Macra member Adam Burke, before dancing the night away to DJ Mark Caffrey in the Darnley Lodge Hotel.

On Saturday, the contestants had private interviews with the judges, before joining in the festival’s ‘Street Carnival and Craft Fair’.

That evening the queens sang karaoke, went on a pub crawl and finished up in the CU Marquee, where music was played by Louth-based band Cool Chic.

Meanwhile, on Sunday, the queens played ‘fancy dress football’ in the Fair Green at the Stephen’s Cooke and Associates – Lark in the Park, before modelling the latest fashions and dashing off later for the Gala Banquet – after which the big announcement was made.

L-R: Gerry Cooke, Athboy Credit Union; 2018 Blue Jean Country Queen Alison O’Connor; and James Healy, Macra na Feirme national president. Image source: David Gilroy

Speaking afterwards, Alison thanked both the organising committee and her fellow queens and expressed her wish to be a positive representative for both The Blue Jean Country Queen Festival and Macra na Feirme over the next 12 months.