At the finale of the Pride of Tipperary festival on the main stage twenty-three year old Tracey Barren from Oola was crowned the Pride of Tipperary.
“When I was announced the winner I was very shocked that my name was called as I wasn’t expecting to win at all,” said Tracey. “I was myself the whole way through the contest, plain and simple and with the formal interview I didn’t really keep it formal so I think that may have helped.”
Tracey’s mother Michelle was there to cheer on her daughter.
“When they announced Tracey’s name I just couldn’t believe it but I’m so thrilled for her and she does deserve it. Tracy’s really grounded and she’ll do her best to follow Donna Ann’s footsteps. Tracey’s a great girl and my husband Tom and I are very proud of her.”
After two weeks of fashion shows, a Gala dinner, interviews, quiz nights and a penalty shootout, the Pride of Tipperary contestants arrived from the Tipperary Races and made their way to the main festival stage. As the judges left the stage for their final deliberation the crowd were entertained by a star-guest actress Rachel Pilkington originally from Tipperary Town and currently in RTE’s Fair City.
“When Tracey was announced the winner of the Pride of Tipperary you could see that it was a very popular choice from the other contestants,” said Chairperson Laura Moore.
The crowning of the Pride of Tipperary was a fantastic finale to the two-week festival that included a penalty shoot-out at Cooke Park to raise funds for Tipperary Town Lions club. “The penalty shoot-out was my highlight of the competition because at that point we all knew each other so well. The girls were lovely and I know they’ll all be there for me in the year ahead,” added newly-crowned Tracey. “I’d like to thank every one and my sponsor Finesse Hairdressing Salon in Oola.”