Beauty pageants divide opinions on their treatment of women but still draw the crowds to festivals looking to find a Western Rose and a Mary From Dungloe.
Twenty-one women competed in the Western Rose contest held in Charlestown, County Mayo. Although the town has a population of just 700 people, the organisers staged a grand festival costing £30,000 to stage.
The climax of the 14 day festival came when 800 people paid £5 a head to see compère Mike Murphy announce the new rose in the local parochial hall.
Dublin Rose Fiona Best carried off the Western Rose title, receiving a cheque for £500, a perpetual trophy, a year's modelling course and a beauty night diploma course. Runner-up Deirdre Doherty, representing London was a popular choice as both of her parents are from Charlestown. In third place was Donegal Rose, Marian Fitzgerald.
There was also a huge influx of visitors to Donegal where between 6,000 and 10,000 people visited Dungloe to attend the Mary from Dungloe Festival. Fourteen Marys from as far away as London and New York vied for the title which ultimately went to 17 year old Debbie O'Brien, the Manchester Mary. The event held in the Ostan na Rosann was compèred by RTÉ disc jockey Paul Clark.
An RTÉ News report broadcast on 18 August 1982. The reporter is Tommie Gorman.