Kathleen Watkins visits Donegal in this episode of the summer series 'Faces and Places', where she meets some of the contestants taking part in the Mary From Dungloe competition.
The compère on the night is Kathleen Watkins’ husband Gay Byrne, who interviews the 24 contestants and encourages them to perform a party piece. One 'Mary' hopeful Linda Farrell from Louth chooses to perform a reel whereas Bernadette Banahan from Roscommon recites the poem 'Brighten Your Corner' by Helen Steiner Rice.
Contestants from all over Ireland and as far afield as New Jersey are competing for the Mary crown. However it is a happy Linda Farrell who takes the Mary From Dungloe 1986 title and also receives a silver necklace from Festival Chairman Pat Gallagher.
Linda Farrell a bank official with Trustee Savings Bank in Dublin is delighted with her win.
I just can't believe it, I'm up on cloud nine.
The winner of the Mary of Dungloe pageant is deemed to have the spirit of the festival and holds the crown as ambassador for the festival for a year.
This edition of 'Faces and Places' was broadcast on 9 August 1986.