BY ANN CREEDON
IT was standing room only in the Maritime Hotel ballroom on Saturday night for the Miss and Mr Bantry beauty pageant organised by Martina Wiseman.
Sixteen lovelies took to the ramp, representing local bars and businesses, while – for the first time – there were seven hopefuls contesting the Mr Bantry title. The show was expertly presented by the popular manager of the Quays Bar, the affable Paco Harrington; DJ for the night was Terence Gibbs, while local singer John Coleman provided a musical interlude.
The contestants first appeared in casual wear, followed by ball gowns and tuxedos. All were then interviewed by Paco and acquitted themselves remarkably well despite the nerves. The girls were then whittled down to eight for the final, while all seven guys were put through by the three judges.
Tension mounted and the excitement grew as 2018 Miss Bantry the lovely Abigail Harrington, dressed in a stunning teal lace dress, was interviewed by Paco and said the highlight of her year was being a judge in the Strictly Come Dancing.
Envelopes were at the ready and the winner of Miss Bantry 2019, representing Hi Lites Hair and Beauty, Main Street, was Lilian Kelly, daughter of Morgan and Mary Kelly of The Sidings, Seskin, Bantry. Lilian, who wore a stunning navy blue backless sequined dress, was overjoyed as she was crowned with her tiara, as were her parents’ family Granny Marie of Droumleigh South. Unavoidably absent was her Granddad Big Mike.
Then, it was the turn of the lads. The first ever Mr Bantry 2019 title went to local lawyer Kevin Casey representing Lucey’s Bar. Son of Kathleen Barry and Donal Casey, Caherdaniel, Kevin plays hurling and football with Bantry Blues. He has secured a work placement in New York to further his career. He was a very popular choice indeed and there to share the moment were his mother Kathleen and aunt Mary.
And so it was all over for another year with the night’s proceeds going to the local Cancer Connect charity.