Kilkenny’s Queen has confidence to go for national title
A young Kilkenny woman is stepping up to represent her county in a national competition, a feat she never would have dreamed of attempting five years ago.
Grace Fitzpatrick, a 25-year old beauty therapist from Hugginstown, is representing Kilkenny in this year’s Macra na Feirme’s “Queen of the Land” competition.
And it is something Grace would not have ever imagined she would be doing when she joined Macra five years ago.
“Queen of the Land – it’s basically the agricultural version of the Rose of Tralee, but we’re not on the telly and won’t become famous.
“I joined macra five years ago when I was in a difficult place in life. While learning to milk on neighbouring farms it was suggested to me that I would join macra. From there I got confidence.”
So much so, Grace is putting herself out there to be held up for scrutiny by a group of judges. This does not faze Grace now.
“Life can be very daunting.
“Here we have Macra – this fantastic organisation which helps make things that bit easier. It’s an amazing group to be part of.
“I was not a confident person when I joined, but I starting taking on different roles in macra like club PRO, county PRO, club secretary and county young farmer secretary. That helped me a lot and gave me lots of confidence.
“I want others to achieve what I have achieved by being a member of Macra. I like to help other people gain confidence, friends and life skills.”
Grace took an unusual route into Macra. It started as you would expect but then took on a different life path.
“I attended Ballyhale Secondary school. From there, I went to Kildalton for a year where I studied horsemanship. I then worked at that for a year before taking a different route – I started beauty therapy and I’m currently working at that in Waterford.
“I was absolutely honoured at being chosen as Kilkenny’s Queen of the Land. It’s great to be able to have an opportunity to represent my club and my county.”
Grace, who is a member of the Mullinavat Macra Na Feirme, will represent Kilkenny at the 55th Annual Tullamore Credit Union Queen of the Land, which starts today and runs until Sunday when the winner will be announced. She is up against 27 other women all selected in their regions for the title of Queen.