Michelle McLaughlin – Pride of Tipperary 2017
By Caitriona Kenny
The crowing of the Pride of Tipperary took place last Friday night after two weeks of fabulous events where twelve contestants sought the coveted crown. MC Willie Bun facilitated the final interviews in front of a huge crowd that had gathered in front of the main stage, Main Street, Tipperary town.
The judges, after their final deliberations, handed the envelope to Willie to announce the winner.
Just before the announcement there was a sharp intake of breath and the crowd went silent… parents crossed their fingers, granddads and grandma’s said prayers and the Pride contestants closed their eyes… and the winner of this year’s Pride of Tipperary is Michelle McLaughlin! Great cheers! Popular choice! The contestants immediately jumped up to congratulate their colleague and comfort a very emotional Michelle who was in shock that she had won whilst the crowd cheered and clapped.
“I wasn’t expecting this at all – it’s so hard to describe the moment your name is called. You can’t breathe or talk… I’ve never been so shocked and speechless and I’m still trying to get my head around it,” said a very happy Michelle.
“Every year I watch the Rose of Tralee and I’ve always wanted to be in the Pride of Tipperary, so when Michael John Ryan and his wife Siobhan asked me to represent the Danny Ryan Music shop I jumped at the chance. It has been an amazing experience and I’ve loved every minute of it particularly getting to know and hanging out with the other Pride contestants.”
19-year old Michelle from Canon Hayes Park, Tipperary Town will celebrate her 20th birthday on July 21st. A former pupil of St. Michael’s G.N.S. and St. Anne’s Secondary School, Michelle is studying an Arts degree in UL
It was an amazing weekend for Michelle as her boyfriend Kevin Kinnane was crowned All-Ireland churn racing champion.
Chairperson Brian English said, “ We know that Michelle has big boots to fill after our 2016 Pride Hazel Heffernan’s extraordinary reign. Hazel’s grace, beauty and wonderful personality have won the hearts of Tipperary and we wish her every good wish in her life.
“We know that Michelle will make an equally wonderful Pride and we look forward to supporting her for the next 12 months in every facet of her reign.”
Best of luck to the new Pride of Tipperary and the Pride contestants for the future.